I bought this window cling when we went to Goodison Park the day the season tickets went on sale. I have just gotten around to finding the perfect place for it. Looks great doesn't it?
I am officially on a countdown... only 8 more days of work and then I will have 11 days off in a row. Woo to the Hoo!
After work tonight Andy and I went to Sports Direct and we each got some new walking shoes. These of course are mine... I don't think Andy would like the pink Nike swooch.
On another note it has been confirmed that I am now on the car insurance! This means that I will start my driving on the right side of the road.. and over here that means on the left. Also it means that I will be once again learning how to drive a manual (stick shift) because I have not driven one in around 10 years.
This should be fun... I hope Andy doesn't get frustrated in teaching me.
Andy and I went back to the cinema today for a double header. We first watched Confessions of a Shopaholic which was very good, of course not as good as the book but still very good. Then we saw Paul Blart: Mall Cop which was also pretty funny.
When we came out of the second movie it was very sunny out so on the drive home we decided to go up Winter Hill. We parked our car a little way up and walked up the rest. It was a nice walk and the view is beautiful.
I was also able to get a really good photo of Rivington Pike.
We have decided that next time we will drive a little further up the hill and then walk to the tower. I really need to buy some nice walking shoes though because I do think once the Spring weather finally gets here we will be doing much more walking.
Also... here is a picture that I took for my blog back on October 20th. It is a picture of Winter Hill. If you click on the picture to make it larger you can just make out the tower on Rivington Pike, it is on the left. Today we were up near to where the broadcast antenna is.
I had to work today so Andy had to take me this morning and then came back after me at 5:00pm. I did not have my camera ready and missed a great picture! There was a car stopped in the middle of the road and I could not see why both directions had stopped. Then I saw... there was a family of ducks crossing the road with the Mommy leading the way and around three of four babies following her lead. It was so very cute but I could not get my camera out in time. *ugh*
So I took it out just in case more babies ducks made their way across the road later but no luck. Instead I tried to get a picture of the daffodils that are now showing up everywhere but it seems to have focused on the houses rather then the flowers but you get the idea. It is truly starting to feel like Spring. We even set our clocks forward tonight!
Andy and I went to the cinema after work and the GPS always has us go the back way into Bolton. It is a nice little drive because it takes us up toward Winter Hill but in two places there are these little... things... Can't even really explain them and I have no idea why they are there but here is a picture.
It makes the road so tiny. It really makes me laugh because I think of all of the huge trucks and SUVs in the States and there is no way they can make it thru this tiny space. Andy hates going thru them because he thinks he is going to run into one of them.
We went to go see Knowing and it was actually pretty good. Not that I thought it was going to be bad... the ending was a little odd but overall I liked it.
I was walking up the stairs and saw a beautiful orange glow from outside so I ran back down the stairs to grab my camera and then went back up to our spare room. This picture does not do justice to the beautiful colours that are actually going on but take my word for it.
I looked across from me to the house just behind ours and...
There was a very strange reflection glowing on the side of their house...
I took a few pictures the shape never really changed but then as the sun went down further and clouds went across the sky it just went away. Very odd. I am thinking it has to be a circular window from a house in our section but it still looked very odd. Tomorrow night if it is clear again I am going to see if the reflection comes back again as the sun is setting. If I can not see it again then I will start to think it is even stranger.
Andy and I had to run to Asda after work and on the drive home I had my camera out so that I could hopefully find something to take a photo of for today.
First... we passed a little lake that had some beautiful swans around it but did I get a picture in time? Nope.
Second... we passed a bit of field that had some cute sheep and little baby lambs but did I get a picture before the trees covered it up? Nope.
Then... when I was looking off to my left Andy started yelling that there was a horse coming on the other side of the road. He slowed down and I was able to get this picture! Finally, a picture of something.
I mean there is a person on the horse so it is not as exciting as Meg's 1st horse encounter or even her 2nd horse encounter... but this is as good as it gets for me today.
Please note that this picture was taken at around 6:00pm and there is still some light in the sky and we haven't even set our clocks forward yet.
Rooney was waiting for Andy and I when we got home. The cats love sitting up in this window!
Tonight Tracey, James, Andy and I went to Red Chilli for tea.. yummy!!
It was raining off and on all day but when we went to leave the house at around 7:30pm it was raining really hard. Can I just say.. thank goodness for our sat nav! We have been taking it with us most of the time even if we know the way because it also updates on traffic. Well we went to turn down the normal road and it was closed! If it were not for our little guide we would have been in a bit of trouble getting there. All we had to do was hit, alternate route, avoid roadblock and presto... new directions! Great stuff.
Oh, just to point out... yes that is a little palm tree in the front garden across the street. and yes this is England and not some tropical destination.
We pulled it off! How exciting is this? We even made home-made pizza dough. Here is how we created this bad boy. Here are the layers involved:
---- Sauce, Cheese, Mushrooms, Onions, Bacon
---- Sauce, Cheese, Grilled Chicken, Mushrooms, Onions, Bacon
-------Dough (Larger then pizza pan)
Note: The chicken and bacon is precooked before you put this all together
I do not like tomato sauce pizza's very much so when we found this pizza made with a garlic creamy sauce we went for it... it is SO good! Here is how you make the sauce:
1 Cup Ranch Dressing (Or if you are in the UK and do not have Ranch Dressing but you have the Ranch powder mix you can use 1 Cup Mayonnaise and two tablespoons mix)
2 Garlic Cloves Crushed
That is it! How simple is this? I have a couple of things of Dry Ranch Mix so I used that with the Mayonnaise. I found how to make it online because a Papa Murphy's employee posted it on a recipe site.
Just start with a larger dough base (as you will need to fold the edges over later). Then put about 2/3 of your sauce on. Add the cheese, grilled chicken, mushrooms, onions and bacon. Then put the 2nd piece of dough over the top (make sure you have already rolled it out so that it fits.. it will be hard to make it fit once it has been placed on) and make a couple of slits in the top dough layer. Then roll the bottom dough edges over to secure everything inside.
Then on top use the last of the sauce, add a little more cheese, mushrooms and onions.
In the US you should cook on 375f for 25-30 minutes and in the UK it is 200c for the same amount of time. Let the pizza stand for around 5 minutes after you take it out before cutting.
Trust me on this... it is a great pizza and it tastes exactly like the one we used to buy in the States. Yay!
Today is Mother's Day in the UK. Andy and I went out this morning to get some fresh flowers for his mom. We wanted to buy them fresh but should have known all of the stores would be crowded and that the lines would be crazy long.
While we were out I went ahead and picked up a card for my mom. Since Mother's Day is not until May in the US I am pretty sure there will not be any proper cards left by that time!
Andy and I have also decided to try to make our very own home-made Papa Murphy's Pizza so we bought the stuff for that. For those of you that do not know what this is... it is a take and bake pizza chain in the States. They have a grilled chicken and bacon stuffed pizza that has a garlic sauce instead of a tomato sauce that is to die for! I have done some research online and have found how to make the sauce so we are going to go for it tomorrow night. I think we may even make home-made pizza dough. We are getting very adventurous!
This is the crap that has been put thru my letterbox today. Can you believe this junk?
No regular mail to speak of just junk... after junk... after junk. I wonder how much these people get paid to bring me this useless junk? Five times today we heard the letterbox open and five times we find junk.
Who do I talk to about getting this stopped? What a waste.
So today when I got on the bus there was a GMPTE Employee standing by the door. Once the four of us that got on took a seat he started to make his way around to each of us. His nifty little maroon sweater said "Data Controller". Here is how our conversation went:
Him: Where are you riding to today?
Him: Is this for work, shopping, school or something else?
Him: Did you purchase a single ticket or return?
Him: Did you pay £2.50?
Me: No it was £3.20.
Him: £3.20? That is pretty expensive.
Me: Yeah I know.
Him: Okay, thank you.
I am curious as to why a GMPTE employee would make a comment that my bus ticket was too expensive. I just find this odd.
On my week of lates I normally buy a week pass for £15.50 (which only saves me .50) but this week Andy was off on Monday so he drove me in. So I figured since I would only be taking the bus for 4 days I would just buy a single ticket each day. It has always been £3.20 one-way.
Yes I know this is expensive but should a transportation employee really make a comment about it?
Then when I was standing up to get off at my stop our conversation continued:
Him: Where are you from?
Me: The United States, from Illinois.
Him: What brought you to the UK?
Me: My husband and I have been living in the US for eight years and he finally got home sick.
Then my most hated question in the World came up...
Him: Why would you ever want to move to the UK?
*ugh* I hate getting asked this all of the time!
Then to make it worse after work at around 9:30pm Andy and I ran into the Co-Op to pick up some stuff for the weekend and the check-out lady picked up on my accent and asked the exact same thing. "Why would you ever want to live here?". *double ugh*
I always answer this question the same. I smile and say "I love it here".
So today I was in the middle of a call at work and I looked out the window and there were two Magpie's sitting in the tree outside.
Being the great multi-tasker that I am... I was able to (while still carrying on a conversation) get into my bag, take my camera out and snap this photo before they flew away. It is a little blurry but I only got the one chance at the photo so I am glad I caught it.
My co-workers told me that when you see a Magpie you should greet him/her by saying "Good morning Mr. Magpie". There is also a rhyme:
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
And seven for a secret never to be told,
Eights a kiss,
Nines a wish,
Tens a bird you should never miss.
So... thankfully there were two of them!
I have only got around to changing Pooh's February outfit today... I know... I know... but I have been busy.
As you can see he has been all decked out for Valentine's Day. I have now put on a new outfit so I am sure you guys will see it on another slow photo day. Can always count on Pooh for being there for me when there is nothing else to take a picture of. Good ole' Winnie the Pooh!
So... this is the top that I wore to work today and as you can see there is no green to be found anywhere on it.
I made sure and asked the people around me at work on Monday if we were expected to wear green on St. Patrick's Day and I was given a confident 'no'. When asked why it is not a big deal here I was told 'Because we are English... not Irish'.
This made me laugh.
In the United States St. Patrick's Day is a pretty big holiday for whatever reason. People expect you to wear green and if not you run the risk of being pinched.
Well Andy always flat out refused to wear green on this day and pretty much dared people to try to pinch him. When I or anybody else would ask why he did not want to wear green he would answer 'Because I am English... not Irish'.
Andy and I were back in Liverpool today. We were at Goodison Park at 7:45am so that when Season Tickets went on sale at 8:00am we could be first in line. Well it turns out we were actually second in line but hey who is counting?
We told the gentlemen at the box office that we would like to look at seats in the Park End so he wrote a few of them down and we there then taken into the grounds by a steward to be shown the available seats.
After walking around for about 5-10 we made our way down to PE2 (Park End Section 2) row F and decided that we liked these the best. And... it is quite funny but they are actually the same two seats that we have been sitting in for the FA Cup Matches. So really we did not need to be taken around but it was a great experience to see the seats without there being a ton of people there. Like I mentioned in the attached post they are not actually sitting next to each other. We have one aisle seat and then there are two next to it that are taken then our second seat. The man that has the two in between has not had a problem letting Andy and I just sit next to each other and I can't see why he would have a problem for next season. I am sure he will be renewing his season tickets also.
And since you guys have seen quite a few pictures of Goodison and are probably tired of it... I am posting another picture also.
After we were done picking our seats Andy and I made our way to Prince Rupert's Tower which is in the town of Everton, just outside Liverpool. I wanted to get a picture of this as it is used in Everton's crest and did not know it was still around until Andy was telling me about it the other day.
This was built in 1787 and was used a lock-up to incarcerate wrong doers until they could be taken to the magistrates the next day.
Could you imagine being locked in this little place overnight?
If you enlarge the picture you will see downtown Liverpool just off the right of the tower and the first building you can see there is the Royal Liver Building. I love that building!
Here is Everton's Crest and you can see how the tower is used in it.
When Andy and I were at the FA Cup Match back on March 8th we discovered that a little work had been done to the car while we were watching the match.
Andy's dad had met us at the grounds and we were giving him a ride back to his ship so he walked back to the car with us. We have always parked around 1.3 miles from Goodison near a park. Well when we were walking up to the car we noticed that the back seat had been lowered down and we opened the passenger side car door to find that it was unlocked. But we knew we had locked both doors.
It was apparent that somebody had broken into the car.
We stopped by Andy's Nan's house to pick up his dad's things before we took him to the ship and it was not until then that we noticed that the lock on the passenger's side door had been knocked out and that is how they were able to get into the car without breaking a window... *ugh*
This is the first time I remembered to take a picture of the damage. Can you believe this? Andy and I have bought some car body filler and some wire mesh so that we can just cover up the hole. Let us hope that it does not happen to the driver side or we will be crawling in and out of the car via the trunk (boot).
The only thing that was in the car that they could take was a £4 wind up flashlight that was in the glove box... and they did in fact take it! I hope they got a good price for it!
It's A Grand Old Team To Support!
Andy and I were back in Liverpool today for the Everton v. Stoke City match... we won 3-1! *Woo Hoo*
For the FA Cup matches we have sat in the same seats in the Park End but for the league home matches we have tried to sit in a few different seats. Today it was in the Paddock area around 11 rows up from the pitch and just in front of the corner flag.
The above celebration is when Joleon Lescott scored the 2nd goal which was only 25 minutes into the match. Jo scored in the first 18 minutes! The third came from Marouane Fellaini in the 90th minute as injury time had just started.
I love this picture because it shows Cahill doing his normal celebratory move when somebody else scores... he jumps on their back! It was great that it was right in front of us.
Andy and I went to go see this movie tonight. This photo is from the movie magazine that I picked up on our way out.
I have not cried as much in a movie in a long... long time. In fact I haven't cried that much over anything in a long... long time.
Great movie but if you watch it make sure to take some tissues. Thankfully I have always some in my purse. Andy was even on the verge of letting out a few tears.
Oh and of course... Owen Wilson was his same cute self!
I just always get nervous when cute little animal movies come out because I know there will be a spike in people buying puppies. Then when they realize how much work it is to have a dog they have to turn them over to somebody else or take them to the pound... or God forbid they just dump them. Hopefully they will think about the lifelong commitment long and hard before jumping anything anything! Pets are for life!
This has been a regular sight in our bathroom lately. All of our cats love fresh water... so much that we have always had one of those running water fountains so that they can get fresher water at all times. However for Gallagher that does not seem to be enough!
If we go into the bathroom for any reason he is right there at our feet and fully expects for the water at the sink to be left on for him so that he can take a drink.
He has also taken a shine to jumping into the shower with me! I thought cats were supposed to be afraid of water? Ours is obsessed with it.
The sun has been coming out quite a bit more lately! It has been making it's appearance earlier in the morning and stays out much later in the afternoon. I was able to snap this shot when we got home from work today at around 4:30pm. It was setting but it had been out pretty much all day again today.
Don't let it fool you though... it is still cold.
This was the view as we were driving to work today. Winter Hill which is always a prominent fixture in the landscape was completely covered in fog/cloud.
However around 1:00pm while I was sat at work the sun came out and stayed out for the rest of the afternoon. It is amazing after looking at the above picture that it could turn out to be such a bright sunny day.
and we'll really shake them up when we win the FA Cup!
We were back in Liverpool today for the FA Cup Quarter Final match v. Middlesbrough. I will hold you in suspense no longer... we won 2-1! Woo Hoo!
It was a rough first half (in which time they scored) but there must have been a major inspiration speech given at half time because Everton came playing hard in the second half!
This wins means that we are in the semi-finals which will be at Wembley Stadium in London. The draw has already taken place and our match will be against Manchester United. It will be a tough match but we will play as hard as we can. Andy and I are going to do our best to get tickets but it may be a bit difficult. They give an equal amount to each team but they go to season ticket holders first. Hopefully there will be enough left over for Andy and I to get one each.
The above picture is of the church that is in the corner of Everton's grounds. There is a plaque on the church that reads the following:
in the back garden of a church - St Luke The Evangelist,
Walton. St Luke's Reverend Harry Ross is also the
official chaplain for Everton FC and Reverend Ross himself
is celebrating 25 years of working within the local
community during Everton FC's year of celebration.
This is a needlepoint project that I have been working on for a couple of years. It is called Nova and it is made up of 396 different squares. When looking at it completed the colours blend and fade from light to dark.
There are 22 rows down and 18 rows across. The white square above (which is not completed yet) is on row 16. So including this unfinished row I only have 7 left! I would normally complete a new square here and there but lately I have been working on it more and more. It will be a beautiful piece once completed and I am excited to get it mated, framed and hung on the wall.
None of the 396 squares are the same. They do use the same stitches on some of them but the colours are different so none are the exact same.
Now I am off to work on it a bit more !
Have I mentioned how much I love that the mail is sloted thru the door here? How great is this?
In the small town I grew up in Illinois everything went to the local post office and you had a Post Office Box... we didn't even have mail boxes outside our house, let alone right in our door.
Andy always commented on how he missed the way mail was delivered in the UK and now I can see why.
Well... today was the day. Long story short, I got my Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa! I followed all of the guidelines and had all of the paperwork that they asked for. Bank statements, bills in both of our names, lease agreement, etc... and what did they ask to see?
1) My passport and Andy's passport
2) My certificate that shows I passed the Life in the UK test
They never asked for ANY of the supporting documents that they said they require.
There was a little hic-up at the start with them trying to tell me that I already had Indefinite Leave to Remain. So I had to explain that my current Visa was in fact only a Spousal Visa but it look different because we have been married for more then four years. We had to wait while the lady called her supervisor. Then we got called to another window for the actual interview part. She took my passport and my new passport photos and told us it would be an hour for the Visa to be issued and that was it. We waited and they called me back up to collect my Passport.
I am now allowed to live in the United Kingdom for as long as I wish! Now there is some noise going around that they are going to try to force citizenship but I planned on getting that anyway when I am eligible so that is not a big issue. I am just glad my last Visa is sorted and now I do not have to worry about it any more.
So... after that was over Andy and I went on a little Beatles sightseeing tour of our own. We went down Mathew Street to see the new Beatles Hotel and of course the Cavern Club.
Then we drove to a little town called Woolton, it is just south of down town Liverpool. We went to St. Peter's Chuch, Strawberry Field and down Penny Lane.
The above picture is of one of the gravestones at St. Peter's Church and is one of the speculation stories about where Paul McCartney came up with the name Eleanor Rigby. Paul and John actually met at this Church's Hall and they spent quite a bit of time here.
It was also a lot of fun to go see the gates to Strawberry Field. It drives me crazy that so many people have written all of them but I guess you can not stop people from being stupid.
I took quite a few pictures of our little drive around today so if you would like to tak a look you can go see them here.. you do not have to be a Beatles fan to enjoy!
Tonight after work Andy and I drove about 30 minutes north to Blackburn for the Everton away match.
Yes that white stuff just to the side of the pitch is in fact snow. It was SO cold!! Early in the day while we were at work it had started snowing pretty heavy but because it was so wet out it did not really stick. It turns out that Blackburn must have gotten a bit more then what we did.
We ended up drawing 0-0 and it was a still a blast... I love going to away matches!
We did not get home until 11:30pm and ended up not getting to bed until closer to 1:00am. Seeing how we have to leave for Liverpool tomorrow morning at 6:30am... I think we may be a bit tired!
Spent all night tonight getting everything filled in, paperwork in an organized fashion and now I am ready for Thursday!
The passport photo story got even crazier tonight. After work Andy and I decided to run by the Co-Op instead of going into Middlebrook to Asda. I went in, did not smile, had my shorter bangs/fringe and stuck my hair behind my ears. I then took the pictures home to find out that they were very very dark compared to the others and that the background was more of a dark grey and not white. *triple ugh* That is £12 down the drain.
So after we ate some dinner we decided to run back into Middlebrook and to Asda so that we can try a fourth time... which turned out to be a charm. I think I look like crap in the picture but it matches all of the rules so that is all that matters.
Okay. First of all, I again apologize for the horrible photo. I tried to get a better shot but I had to settle on this one because I am way too busy to try to not get the flash to show...
I have my ILR appointment in Liverpool on Thursday so I have started getting everything together today. When I was in the States working on my Spousal Visa I let myself get way too stressed out about it and then with the cats paperwork (which was even harder then my own) I was a complete mess! This time around I wanted to wait until a few days before to start so that it did not take over too much of my life. It is seriously amazing how a person turns into a ball of blubber when it comes to dealing with this Immigration stuff.
Andy and I stopped by Asda after work as we both had to get some passport photos taken. Unfortunately I do not think that I will be able to use any of the above.
I took the ones on the left first and after I came out Andy pointed out that it stated in the instruction poster (which was hanging just to my right the entire time) that my ears should be in fact showing. *ugh* That is £4 down the drain.
I then had to go back into Asda to buy something else so that I could get £10 back in pound coins so that I could try again.
So... I take the ones on the right. We get home and I look thru the photo guidance instructions and what do I see? It says that you can not have any hair hanging down and into your eyes. Darn my bangs (fringe). *double ugh* That is £8 down the drain.
I went into the bathroom and trimmed up my own bangs and will attempt to go back tomorrow after work. I will take all of them to my appointment on Thursday and they can pick which one they like the best. I guess it is good to have choices.
I am so sorry to expose you to this disgusting photo but can you believe that a person would hang this from the back of car?
He (come on.. there is no way this is a woman's doing) must have taken a vacation to Texas and brought this back as a souvenir. I saw these things hanging from the back of a few too many 4x4 pick-up trucks during my 3+ years in that lovely state.
And I am so happy that I have such a lovely view of it from my dining room window.