This is the Devil's Ivy houseplant that I bought the other day at B&Q. I took advantage of yet another dry day by replanting him in a larger pot. I am glad I did because he was getting pretty root bound in the tiny one he came in. This should help him to grow much stronger and faster. Andy also was able to get out and plant his pepper plant seeds, this is the first time he has tried patio gardening so we will see how it goes.
Oh and yes I know my plant is considered to be toxic to cats which is why it is in the dinning room as the cats do not go in there. Was thinking about finding a hanging basket so that I could move it into the living room but if I did it would be very high and out of reach from the little ones!
Sunrise: 4:48 AM
Sunset: 9:28 PM
We were on the road to Liverpool at around 4:40am. Although I must say that it does help with the sun coming up so early as it did not actually feel like it was that early since it was already light outside.
We made it to Goodison Park with plenty of time and got on the coach with no problems. It was the first time I have taken the coach to a match and I must say it was a blast! The people on there were great, we sang, chanted, laughed and had a ball.
After about 20 minutes of being on the road we were told that the coach was overheating so we had to make a pit stop so that another coach could come and pick us up. Was a short blip and no big deal. Fortunately on the way back while listening to the Kings of Leon song 'Sex On Fire' there was a rewrite and I think every car we passed could hear everybody singing 'Wwoooooooaaaaahhhhh, the coach was on fire'.
So we got to Wembley and made our way inside to get something to eat. Honestly I was way too nervous to eat so Andy got something and then we went out in search of somebody to switch tickets with. See we had Club Wembley tickets which is the central ring around the stadium that is supposed to be neutral. Our seats were on the Chelsea end so I figured it would be easy to find two Chelsea supporters in the Everton end that would rather be over with their own supporters. Well I asked about 10-12 people and it turns out it was not as easy as I thought because it turned out those walking around in Chelsea kits were not real supporters but just there for a day out at Wembley and did not really care they were in the Everton end. Then Andy passed a man and his son and we ended up asking him and after taking him over to show him our seats he was more than happy to swap as his kid really wanted to be on the Chelsea side. They got great seats, we got great seats in return... score!
The atmosphere was crazy before kick off and it got even crazier because after only 25 seconds into the match Louis Saha scored the fastest ever FA Cup Final goal and it got even crazier! Unfortunately that goal just meant that Chelsea had to really push forward and we went into half time at 1-1. The sun started to move across the sky and as much as it was a comfortable and cool first half in the shade it was direct sun on us for the second half, it literately felt like I was melting. Chelsea managed to score again and we lost 1-2.
Then something happened that I could not have expected. We had just lost the FA Cup Final but did we empty out of our seats and head back to our coach with our heads hanging low? No way! We stood and sang our hearts out for the boys in blue down on the pitch. No the FA Cup Final is not a singing competition but the feeling of pride to be there even in loss was more than I could say for the winning side of Chelsea. Yes I am sure they had some excited 'supporters' but it was nothing like the sea of blues who were showing their appreciation for the runners up.
Once we made our way back to the coach it was a little quite at first but after we got on the motorway the CD went back on and as soon as we heard Z Cars we continued to sing, chant, laugh and have a ball. You would not have believed that we just lost. It just goes to show how great our supporters are.
Are we gutted that Everton did not come back home victorious and with the FA Cup? Of course.
Do we know that this is just the start of something more and that Everton are going to be hungry for more next season? Of course.
I felt so proud to be an Everton Supporter today. Even in loss we are there to show the World our love and support to the boys in the royal blue jerseys.
So now the summer officially begins and football does not start back again until August... what in the World am I going to do for two months?
Sunrise: 4:49 AM
Sunset: 9:27 PM
Can you see the difference from back on Day 204? I completely forgot to take a before photo but trust me... Day 204 was not as bad as it got! The weeds were higher than the bricks and they were growing thru the cracks in the pavement. It was really really bad!
But after putting it off for as long as I could I got my new B & Q gardening tools and went to work. It took me about two hours to get everything done but here is the reward. The front garden area is actually pretty big but this is the only corner that has anything in it. I trimmed back the bush (that happens to have rather long thorns...) and even planted some flowers that I picked up last night. When/If they bloom they should be purple. I normally do NOT have a green thumb but hopefully they will like their new home.
Here is a close up of our rock/flower garden.
We are off back to Wembley tomorrow for the FA Cup Final and I have had butterflies about it all week! We are leaving at around 4:30am so tonight will need to be an early one for us both.
If you have no plans to watch the match tomorrow please send some good thoughts our way at around 3:00pm BST (9:00am CST). It is going to be a really tough match against Chelsea but Everton can do it! Come On You Blue Boys!
Sunrise: 4:50 AM
Sunset: 9:25 PM
There is work being done on the road outside of where Andy and I work so we went a different way home today. It was a bit out of the way but we ended up going down this wonderful road.
Completely covered in a canopy of trees... it was beautiful!
I think the work is going to be going for a few weeks so maybe we will take this out of the way road again. There was also a large lake that we passed that we had no idea was that close to us. Might have to visit it again also.
I now officially have four days off from work! Yay! We went to B & Q (similar to Home Depot) tonight after work. I wanted to buy some gardening tools so that I could take care of the weeded mess that has become my front garden. The weeds that were seen back on Day 204 are nothing compared to what is out there now.
I also wanted to get a hanging Ivy. I had one at my desk at work back in the States but since you can not bring live plants into the UK I had to leave it behind with my mom. It had huge arms and I had it circling my cubical walls at work. She now has it in her dinning room and it surrounds the top of the room. There are around 3 or 4 long arms that are at least 25-30 feet long each. So... I wanted to get a new one and hopefully this one loves me as much as my first one did.
Andy also ended up buying some pepper plants that he plans on planting in a large pot to keep in the back garden. It was pretty funny when we were checking out. One of the tools I had picked up was not scanning so the man had to manually enter the number. Well I guess he did it wrong and our total went from £32.08 to £43,210.08! Needless to say he got it corrected before I could grab my camera but we all had a pretty good laugh about it. I liked the things we got but not that much!
Forecast: Times of Clouds and Sun
Sunrise: 4:51 AM
Sunset: 9:24 PM
Missing: White eggs.
Last seen: United States of America on September 30th, 2008.
I have almost gotten past the fact that here in England the eggs are not refrigerated in the supermarket but what is up with the brown eggs? Are there no white chickens in the whole of England? See... in the US there are also some brown eggs that you can buy but honestly they tend to market them as 'healthier' and in turn are usually more expensive.
I tried to do some research online to determine the difference between white and brown eggs. According to Mr. Breakfast the color of the egg is determined on the color of the earlobe (yes really) of the chicken that is laying that egg. No nutritional difference at all. Although it does say that the brown egg laying chickens eat more than the white egg laying chickens which is why the cost is usually higher. Maybe we need to get some anorexic chickens in the UK, might save us some money.
Forecast: Occasional Rain and Drizzle
Sunrise: 4:52 AM
Sunset: 9:23 PM
Bright sun shiny day.
After three wonderful days off from work... it was back to the old grindstone... but don't despair as it is only for three days because I have this Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off! Woo to the Hoo!
Andy and I grilled out hamburgers tonight and they were yummy! I think since we got the grill back back Day 214 there has only been like six or seven days we have not used it. Good stuff.
Forecast: Cooler, Periods of Rain
Sunrise: 4:54 AM
Sunset: 9:21 PM
I know my Grandma and Grandpa do not have the Internet to see this post but my Mom or Sister will have to let them know that without him this never would have been possible.
My Grandpa was always out in the garage building things when I was growing up and this has always made me very comfortable when it comes building my own things. In college I used this in Theatre and worked on set building and decorating which was a lot of fun!
One of the things I was worried about when we moved to the UK was that none of the windows have screens on them. There do seem to be less bugs but that is not what I was worried about. Our three cats do not go outside and with open windows with no screens I was worried that they might try to jump out. So before we moved I bought something like six rolls of window screen and brought them with us in the move.
Since it has been getting hotter outside we have started to open the windows. One of the windows in our living room is really tall so we have felt safe to open that while we are in the room because it would be unlikely that the cats would jump up that high to see what the hole was all about. But the other window is low and they could easily get out, that is the same as the window in the bedroom.
So I bought all of the materials and went to work. The wood glue is for added support at the joints of the cut wood which I also held together with strong staples. Then I just stretched the screen around the frame, stapled it in place and it is done! They are held in place over the window with velcro and work like a charm. I made a total of four of them this morning.
So now there is no need to worry about birds, bugs, etc... getting in and I do not have to worry about the cats getting out. Job done!
Forecast: Morning Sun, Afternoon Rain
Sunrise: 4:55 AM
Sunset: 9:20 PM
Wow. Today was a great day!
This was the last day of the regular season and Everton were away to Fulham (down in London) and Andy and I were not able to make the trip. We thought about it but with us heading down to London for the FA Cup Final next weekend we decided to stay at home.
Well... Everton were not on TV so we decided to watch Aston Villa v. Newcastle because we were both hoping for a Villa win so that Newcastle would be relegated down to the Championship and out of the Premiership. I was able to find an online link to the Everton match (it was from some station in Albania or somewhere..). So as you can see we were watching both matches.
How did the results go? Well Newcastle did lose so they are going down, going down, going down! Everton won! Woo Hoo! In fact Everton won 0-2 and it was the first time they have won away to Fulham at Craven Cottage since 1966. What else did Everton do in 1966? They won the FA Cup... this is defiantly a sign for our Wembley outing next Saturday. Don't you think?
Is this not enough of great things in one day? Well... Andy and I always place a couple bets each week. In fact we normally spend something like £2 each. Well out of our £4 worth of bets today... we won... £34! Double Woo Hoo!
What a great day!
Sunrise: 4:56 AM
Sunset: 9:18 PM
and I say it's all right
I snapped this picture on our way back from the cinema. I love sheep, they are so cute and also seem to be all over the place here. I am always oooohhhhing and aaaaahhhhhing when I pass by a field of sheep. No I am not weird.
We went to go see two movies today, Night at the Museum 2 and Awaydays. Night at the Museum 2 did just as I expected... made me laugh and was pretty entertaining. Awaydays is a smaller film about Football Hooligans and it was one of the most boring movies I have been to in a long, long, long time. Andy made the comment at the end that it was 2 hours of his life he was never going to get back, and that is never a good sign! At least we have the Cineworld Unlimited Pass so when we go see a movie we do not like we just chalk it up to not having to have paid for the movie and that makes it better!
Sunrise: 4:57 AM
Sunset: 9:17 PM
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free
Nothin's worryin' me
Does that mean that I hate the sun? Well when I was living in Texas from January 2005 - September 2008... YES! I hated it! It was almost always hot and when it did rain it was a really hard stormy rain which went by very quickly and all it left behind was muggy humid weather. *ugh*
But here... when the sun is out it is different... it is still comfortable to be out and there is almost still a chill in the air. Is it going to be getting warmer and warmer... yep! Am I going to mind it? Nope! In fact the forcast for tomorrow is calling for the warmest day of the year so far.
Forecast:A Couple of Showers
Sunrise: 4:59 AM
For normal American hot dogs... but not for these sub par English ones.
Really? Hot Dogs in a can?
I am making some baked beans in the slow cooker so I asked Andy to pick me up some hot dogs so that I can cut them up in the beans and this is what he brought home.
Again I ask.. Really?
For those of you in the US you will know what I am speaking about... Hot Dogs are a way of life, here more of an after thought and in a can or jar! *ugh*
Here is how Hot Dogs should be packaged and should look.
Forecast: Morning Showers and Afternoon Sun
Sunrise: 5:00 AM
Sunset: 9:14 PM
I have found that we call an English Muffin back in the US is not an English Muffin here in the UK.
On the left we have what they call a Crumpet here in the UK. Now for those of you in the US you are thinking that is an English Muffin. Well... yes it looks like a US English Muffin but it is not the same. It is hard to describe but the texture is almost like that of a US pancake.
Now on the right we have what the English call an English Muffin. As you can see it is shaped the same and looks the same on the outside to a US English Muffin but when you cut into it... it is more like a bun. Not the same at all.
Which do I like better? Well I like the UK Crumpet over the UK English Muffin... but it is still not the same. But it will do.
Forecast: Periods of Rain
Sunrise: 5:02 AM
Sunset: 9:12 PM
There is a billboard across the street from where we live and it has become one of the first things I look out when I leave the house. They tend to update it about every two weeks and it is always a guessing game over what will be put up next. I was disappointed last month as they reused a Tesco Mobile one that had been used a few months ago. Boo!
I was surprised when we left to take Andy to work this morning to find House staring me down. I think my mom and sister would love to have this to look at everyday... they really like this show.
Forecast: Periods of Rain
Sunrise: 5:03 AM
Sunset: 9:11 PM
So... look what came in the mail today. Our FA Cup Final tickets for Saturday May 30th! Woo Hoo!
We are not going to go down for a long weekend like for the Semi, we are going down just for the day. We have gotten tickets to take a coach down with other Everton supporters and we are so looking forward to the match. It is going to be SO much fun!
I have safely put these tickets away and now all we have to do is play the waiting game... Including today we have 13 days and counting.
Forecast: A Little Rain
Sunrise: 5:04 AM
Sunset: 9:09 PM
Andy and I were in the living room watching TV and we both heard the sound of a beating drum off in the distance... We went to the window and saw traffic stopped outside. Then some police officers came walking down the road who were then followed closely by a marching band.
The only flag I could see was that of the Royal British Legion so I guess they were the ones marching. It was a short parade... I am just glad the rain had stopped so that they were not getting drenched.
Forecast: Mostly cloudy, Occasional Rain Showers
Well today was the final home match of the season. After the match everybody did a lap of honor around the pitch. I have to say I got a little emotional a couple times during and after the match.
First it came with about 15 or so minutes left in the match when Jo started warming up on the side of the pitch. Let me try to pin point Jo in the above photo. So you see the steward in the yellow jacket... Well just above and to the right you can see Pienaar clapping his hands. Well if you keep going to your right you see Fellaini (can't miss him and his BIG hair) and next to him is Jo, the one with the huge smile on his face.
You see Jo is on Loan from Manchester City. Since he has been playing with Everton he has truly started to shine. I feel so sorry for Jo. He keeps doing all of these interviews and he talks about how much he wants to stay with Everton and how he loves the team and the supporters... we just do not have enough to buy him. I truly believe he is a wonderful player and I would love for some miracle to happen and he gets to stay with us.
Anyway, I had a tear or two because when Jo started warming up on the sideline everybody started clapping for him and he stopped and starting clapping back. He just looks like he enjoys himself so much at Everton. I keep picturing him having to go back to Man City all sad. I hope if we do not get to keep him that he goes to a good team away from Man City, they do not deserve to keep him!
The second emotional moment came when the lap of honor started and Jagielka joined in with everybody to walk around even on his crutches. You guys might remember my post on Day 207 when I mentioned that Jagielka had been injured during the v. Man City match. Well he has had his surgery and is on the road to recovery but still on crutches. Was great to see him at the match and even better that he got to make his way around the pitch with everybody.
Just to point him out... if you see the line of players look all the way left. The one in the black shirt and shorts is Tim Howard (U. S. A.) who is the goal keeper. Next to him is Tim Cahill and then you can see Jagielka in the suit next to him. His crutches are a little behind him so hard to see but they are there also.
Anyway... this has been a very long post and probably not very interesting to most of you but it was a great day that ended up being very emotional as well. This was my first but defiantly not my last final match of the season!
Oh yeah... we won 3-1. Woo Hoo!!
Forecast: Partly cloudy, Occasional Rain Showers
This same road in the US would be called Main Street... but in the UK they call it The High Street. That is not it's actual name but everybody refers to the main street that runs thru a town as The High Street. It is where you can find most of the shops, banks, etc...
We had to stop at the ATM to get £10 out for tomorrow. We always make sure we have some cash on us when we got to an Everton match so that we can get a program and a soda. Although if it is raining like it was last week I will go for a coffee to keep me warm. Tomorrow is the last home match of the season so hopefully it will be a good one!
And no we are not driving on the right in this photo... Andy pulled over to that side of the road for the ATM so we were actually stopped when I took it.
Oh and by the way, I am going to add a new feature to my blog. I know I am 227 days into my first year but I want to start keeping track of the weather.
For whatever reason I still keep track of what the weather is back in Southern Illinois and Fort Worth Texas. I have noticed that it is already starting to get really warm over there. Figured I would give those who are stuck in the heat something to think about to keep them cool. They can imagine how nice it is over here, rain or no rain!
For example, the high here today was 53° with rain. In Fort Worth it got up to 88° (probably felt like 95°) and in Southern Illinois it was 85°.
Have I mentioned before how much I love living in England?
Is it just me or this photo pushing the boundary of artistic and cat porn?
It also reminds me of 'that' famous scene in American Beauty when Mena Suvari is rolling around in the roses.
Just looking at this photo makes me laugh though. I wonder what the age of this cat is or if she knows what they have done with this photo. Do you think her boyfriend took it and she is unaware that it has been sold as part of a daily calendar?
Oh the shame.
I noticed today that when the car is off this little red light blinks. No idea what it is but there is one thing I know for sure...
It is NOT used as a deterrent to stop people from breaking into your car!
I mean if only the thieves that broke in back in March would have seen this little flashing red light it would have made them run away in fear.
So... I am out of A.1. Sauce. There is a store in Manchester that I can buy some more (as pictured back on Day 129) but I found a recipe online so I figured I would try to make my own to see if it even came close. Did it?
In fact this made the most disgusting concoction that I could ever have the displeasure of tasting.
I will just have to drive into Manchester to get the real stuff.
... boring day ahead.
What did I do today? Went to work, went home.
The only side trip was to the tip in Blackrod on our way home. I just read the linked post of the last time we went to the tip. Seems like I am destined to have borning days when we go.
We all know how much I hate junk that gets put thru the letter box but this takes the cake.
How disgusting is this picture?
I mean what exactly are they saying here? The BIG message they are pushing is to always cover your mouth when you sneeze (Catch It). Well apparently covering your mouth does you no good at all based on this picture. I mean look at the spray this fella has! Even if he used a tissue I think it would be doing no good at all.
Catch It - Use a tissue when sneezing and always cover your mouth
Bin It - Throw the tissue away
Kill It - Wash your hands
I did follow a bit of their motto though, this brochure is already in the bin!
Andy and I were at the Everton v. Tottenham match today. Before the match started they released 1000 balloons in honor of an Everton charity. I was amazed that all of the balloons made it out of Goodison, it was very windy and I figured a few of them would be blown into the stands.
Today was the first match I have been to when it was raining. It wasn't bad at the start but by half time it was coming down pretty good. The seats are covered but because of the wind we got a little wet but not too bad. Then by the middle of the second half the rain was gone and the sun was out. Which is good because I did not feel like walking a mile to the car in the pouring rain.
We ended up drawing 0-0. Of course not as good as a win but at least we got a point and there were no new injuries which is a BIG plus since we have an FA Cup Final match to go to in 21 days!
So I have ran out of my dry Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing packets. I have been here for 7 months so the fact that they have lasted this long is a big plus. But... what do I do now? Well I scoured the Internet and have found a pretty good replacement recipe so I have gotten all of the required spices together and have tried it out... very close indeed! I think it has a bit too much oregano so next time I will cut back a little but it is a close a replacement as I will find over here.
In case you want to try it out, here is the recipe as I found it.
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons oregano, ground or oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons salt or salt substitute
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground basil or basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme or thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried celery leaves or dried celery flakes
Mix all ingredients together and store in air-tight container.
Use 2 tablespoons of this mix with 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, and 1/2 to 2/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil.
Shake before using.
Does anybody remember my post on Day 75 (December 14th)? Back then the sun was rising at 8:20am and setting at around 3:30pm so we were getting like 7 hours of daylight.
Well the above picture was taken this morning at 5:00am! Look the street lights are already off. I noticed how bright it was outside when I woke up yesterday morning at 5:30am and thought our alarms had not gone off. It was so bright I had the hardest time going back to sleep. Since the alarm does not go off until 7:30 I was not a happy camper to be awake. I am going to look into those black out panels that you can add to curtains so that it is not so bright in the mornings.
In keeping with the Day 75 post I also took a photo as the sun was setting. This picture was taken at around 9:15pm. So today we had 16 hours of daylight. What a difference 144 day can make.
These flowers are growing over the top of the fence that separates our back garden (yard) and the neighbours back garden. Love the flowers. Hate that the fence is loose and when it is windy it bangs up against the concrete post that is holding it up. I really have no idea if it is our fence or their fence so I feel weird about trying to fix it but I may have to try to do something to it soon.
I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that while we were at the movies last night we went ahead and got tickets for the new 'Star Trek' movie for Thursday night. Can not wait to go see it!
Having lived for 3 years and 9 months (not that I was counting) in Texas, Cinco De Mayo was a huge celebration! Here in the UK... yep you guessed it... nothing. Not even the people at work knew what I was talking about. Well for those of you not in the know here is a little background on the Mexican celebration that has actually become a larger celebration in the US then in Mexico.
Today is a Bank Holiday which means Andy and I both have off work. Last night I pattied out some hamburgers so that we could grill them out on the BBQ today and what did we wake up to? Rain! Was it a short passing shower? Nope... it lasted all day.
Oh well, we can cook them tomorrow.
Spent the day resting and catching up on the last week of TV. Ended up being a nice relaxing day. Gotta love bank holidays!
I figured since I am starting to drive more and more I need to actually learn what some of these road signs that I keep passing are actually for. I love that you can get almost anything for the Nintendo DS!
I am allowed to drive on my US License for my first year here but then I have to get a UK License which means I have to pass the written and driving tests. From what I have heard the driving test here in the UK is much more difficult than that in the US. Something to look forward to I guess. *ugh* At least while I am driving now I do not have to put those silly 'L Plates' on my car!
Love how it shows it is suitable for anyone over 3 years of age... I hope there not any toddler learner drivers out there.
Look what Andy and I bought today! There is nothing better then grilling. We have always had a grill and with the weather getting warmer and warmer we figured it would be a perfect time.
I loved this one because of the grilling plate on the right. We will use it to grill mushrooms and onions. Yummy!
We also got a nice waterproof cover to protect it when it rains.
Gotta love grilled food!!
After I dropped Andy off at work I checked my email and had one from Andy saying that a friend of his at work had told him that Green Day were going to be in Manchester in October and that tickets went on sale at 10:00am.
I got ready.
It was not quite as dramatic as when I got our tickets to go see Oasis but it was pretty close. They are going to be in Manchester over two nights, October 30th and October 31st. So I had two screens up for ticketmaster.co.uk and two screens up for ticketline.co.uk, one for each day. I ended up getting two pretty good seats for the Friday October 30th show and I can't wait!
Andy and I saw Green Day a couple years ago. We were living in Fort Worth TX but drove 10.5 hours to Nashville TN to see them. It was well worth the drive and this will also be a fantastic show!