Andy got the breadmaker out today and made some homemade Hawaiian Bread to have with the Chili that has been cooking in the slow cooker all day.
I love Hawaiian Bread because it has just a hint of sweet to it. Yummy!
Everton was playing at home today but because it was on Sky TV and in HD we decided to save a little bit of money to go toward the season tickets we will be buying next month and just stay at home to watch it. I do have to admit that when the match was getting ready to start it felt weird to be sat on the couch and not in the stands.
But... it will not have to feel weird for long because we have a full schedule ahead of us and have tickets to the next three matches.
04 March, Wednesday: After work we will be driving up to Blackburn (about a 30 minute drive from where we live) for the away match there.
08 March, Sunday: Back to Goodison for the Quarter Final FA Cup match against Middlesbrough.
14 March, Saturday: Back to Goodison for a league match against Stoke.
So... it may have felt weird to watch the boys TV today but for the next three matches we will be there!
Oh and in case you were wondering, Everton won 2-0 today. Yay!
Before I left the US the people at work had a going away party for me and one of the gifts they got for me was a 2009 calendar with cute little animals on it. Other then my love of animals I am sure it was to help remind me of the all of the American holidays that would not be celebrated over here.
This was today's picture... how cute is that face? Caramellow has a new home on the side of our fridge freezer, there was no way I could throw this one away!
It has been lightly raining off and on all day today... then when I got home from work I was up stairs and heard the familiar sound of tiny tinks up against the windows.
I was just in time with my camera to snap this shot of the little pellets of ice bouncing away from the window. Of course this event only lasted for a couple of minutes and then it cleared up pretty quickly. This seems to be a running theme with the weather here. I know everywhere you go people say "If you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes and it will change". I heard this growing up in Southern Illinois and then when we moved to Texas in 2005. But to be honest it is honestly true here!
You never know what you are going to get from one minute to the next... I love it!
It was so very sunny out... I promise!
Andy had to stay home from work again today because he is still feeling ill but he had to pick me up at 4:00pm when my shift finished. All day it had been overcast but at around 2:30 or so the sun put in an appearance. We were both talking about how bright it was on the way home.
Today was trash collection day so when we got home I wheeled our empty bin around to the back of the house, walked inside and got my camera out of my bag.
I opened up the kitchen door to take a picture of the clear blue sunny sky and this is what it looked like. I have no idea what happened in five minutes but the clouds had moved in and the sun had vanished. Not that I am complaining... I prefer the overcast skies, the sun can stay away!
Yummy! Today is Pancake Tuesday... although I need no excuse to eat these golden beauties it helps that there is a day reserved once a year that gives me a pancake free for all.
It also helps that Andy can not stand the things which means they are all for me. He has not been feeling well at all (I think I may have given him a bit of my lingering crud) so he was not very hungry tonight. He ended up only eating a beef and tomato pot noodle so I told him it is now an official tradition. Pancake Tuesday for me and Pot Noodle Tuesday for him.
Oh and here is what the pancakes looked like before I cooked them... notice it says 'American-Style'.
We went to Tesco tonight to do some grocery shopping and with that I needed some deli meat for my lunch sandwiches this week. I did notice this type of lunch meat the last time we went but did not have my camera with me so could not get a picture. This time Andy told me to get him some because he thinks it is great!
Look at it...
Is it pork lunch meat... or is it a slice of egg? It is BOTH!
I have never in my life seen anything like this. They take an egg and then put the processed meat around it and then slice so that each piece has a slice of egg right there in the middle.
So Andy carried our vacuum cleaner up the stairs so that I could use it upstairs and it is just not going to happen any time soon. I wonder how long it will just be sitting here in the spare room. I should start reporting all of these things that tend to sit around our house to the local bookie so that people can start making bets on them.
It would be better if I had at least vacuumed the lower floor first but I didn't so now it is just sitting up here... I just do not feel like doing anything. Andy is starting to get sick also.. *ugh* I am forcing him to go to the doctors before it gets worse. He wants to give it a couple days but I will not let him let it fester like I did.
So today Everton was away at Newcastle. At one point we were thinking about getting away tickets and driving the 2.5 hours for a little road trip but the way I feel we knew it would not be a good idea. So we just stayed and watched it at home since it was on TV. It ended up 0-0 but only 3 minutes into the match Mikel Arteta was stretched off and it appears to be a pretty bad knee injury. I am not saying this because he is a brilliant player for Everton... but I do wish him all the best and a speedy recovery because it is not good to see anybody get seriously injured.
These are only a few of my 'book thongs'. What is a book thong you ask? Well do you see the beads at the top and bottom of a few of my books? Well they are attached to wax thread which is used to hold my place in the book. Genius! The first time I saw them I knew I had to have more then just one... of course!
In fact I have quite a few more then the ones pictured above. I even bought some wax thread and beads before I left the US and will be making some homemade ones also.
I love my book thongs (that is the official name of them... trust me)!
8:00am : Call Surgery, busy signal, hang up, redial... repeat...
8:20am : Get thru to the surgery and ask for an appointment, am told I can come in at 11:30.
11:20am : Get to the surgery (only a couple blocks down from my house). I arrived a little early because I had remembered they still had our address as Andy's parents so I wanted to fill out a change of address form.
11:55am : Asked to go back to the doctor's office. Was shocked to find that he was already in there waiting for me. This never happens in the US, there you usually end up spending more time waiting back in the room then out in the waiting area.
He looks at my throat, up my nose, in my ears and feels around my neck and tells me that I have an ear infection (otitis media) and the starting of strep throat. He gives me a prescription for antibiotics and tells me while I am getting the prescription filled to ask the chemist for a good chesty cough syrup. He fills out a little paper for me to take to work on Monday to excuse me missing work today. He also tells me that if I do not feel better at the end of the course of antibiotics to come back in.
12:00pm : Walking out of the surgery and across the road to the Chemist.
I give them my prescription and as instructed ask for a chesty cough syrup. She tells me that for my prescription and the cough syrup it will be £10.30, I pay and am asked to just wait to the side.
12:05pm : I am given my prescriptions and I am on my way back home.
So seriously... what in the world is the United States so scared about when people suggest a National Health Service? I was sick, I was able to get into the doctor on the same day I called, I was given antibiotics to stop my illness and it look at how fast it all was. Oh and do not forget the most important part.. it only cost me £10.30!
Back in September '07 I was feeling ill and I went to a clinic in the States and for the appointment I had to pay $180 and then for my prescriptions another $25. That was a total of $205 and this was with me having a pretty decent health insurance which was costing me $75 a pay check (which was every two weeks). Man those insurance companies, doctors and pharmaceutical companies must be rolling in the money back in the States. Plus I had to wait something like an hour out in the waiting room and then another hour back in the room where the doctor sees you. Then of course when you drop off a prescription it takes them hours to actually fill it!
Everybody that gave me crap in the US about how the NHS is horrible and how could I even dream about moving to the UK... can stick it! Today was an absolute dream and I am so thankful that I do not have to worry about going to the doctor when I do not feel well and knowing that I do not have to auction off a kidney in order to afford it!
Look at what Mark brought for me today! It is to commemorate my first ride on the top of a double decker bus... how sweet was that?
Mark is the 'goodie' guy at work. He always has a ton of candy, cookies (or biscuits as they call them here), chips (or crisps as they call them here) and all kinds of other yummy things. He is the goodie go-to guy!
So I still feel horrible. This morning I woke up and it was just terrible. My head was throbbing and it really hasn't stopped all day. *ugh*
I was scheduled to work from 1:30 - 9:30 but I ended up having to leave at like 7:30. I tried my best to stay the whole time but I just couldn't. The local surgery opens up at 8:00am so tomorrow morning I will be calling to book in an appointment. The over the counter medicines are just trying to mask the symptoms and they are not even doing that good of a job at doing that. There is obviously something brewing deeper down so it is time to call in the proper medicines to do their job.
Nothing much happened today... hence the throw away picture of my Shakespearean Magnetic Fridge Poetry.
It was another double decker on the way into work today but I have figured out the reason why there are so many of them out in force this week. It is half term in school so I did not want to push my way thru the many children that were sitting at the top today. However I did notice that it did not take us as long to get up the giant hill so it must have just been yesterday's bus that was having the trouble.
I am still sick! I am thinking it must be some kind of Super Flu of 2009 or something. *ugh*
This week is my 1:30pm - 9:30pm shift (details here) which means that I take the bus part of the way into work. Well I was sat at the bus stop today and when I saw bus #615 coming my way I was SO very excited. It was a double decker! YAY!
I see a few of them drive by from time to time but have not had one on my route, until today. I was like a little child. I showed the driver my week pass and made my way up the stairs to the top level. Too be honest I had to wait to snap the above picture because I already felt like too much of a tourist to be this excited about riding on the top of the bus... so I waited until there was nobody else around so that I could get a good picture.
Very exciting times!
Tomorrow if it is a double decker again I am going to go to the top and try to sit a bit closer to the front. Today there were a couple kids there so I could not... darn kids! There is this massive hill that we have to go up at one point and I swear I thought the bus was not going to make it today. I have not noticed this issue before so it must only be the double decker that has the problem. So if I get lucky enough to ride on one tomorrow again I am going to try to record going up the hill so that you guys can see how hard it churns to try to make it up.
Paul, a co-worker (seen here) drew this for me. I have it hanging on my cubical wall. It is used as my constant reminder of how much better the British are than the Americans. Ha.
The people at work get a kick out of how I say certain things... for example:
1) Status: I say "Stat us", they say "Stay tus"
2) Data: I say "Dat a", they say "Day ta"
3) Dude: I say "Dude", and they... well they just do not say it at all
There are plenty more but this gives you guys a glimpse into a day in my life. Paul and I were having one of our wonderful conversations and he actually told me that the British invented the cow (hence the above drawing), when I questioned this he pointed out that it was not the cow itself but what to do with the cow that they figured out. Classic.
I actually love my little laughs with the people I work with. I was talking to Andy tonight about how funny it is to tease each other about the way things are said and he says this is what it was like for him the US. I do not get offended by anything I just get to have a a good laugh!
Everton Is The Team to Follow
Cos There's Nobody Better Than Mikel Arteta
He's The Best Little Spaniard We Know
I took this picture as Mikel Arteta was about to take a corner kick in the first half. Below the picture is also one of my favourite chants... it is hard because you do not know the tune it is sung to so I have also found a clip of it being sung on You Tube, I do believe you can find anything on that site!
Despite it being Valentine's Day... this is where I have spent the entire day. I woke up at round 9:00am and thought that I would be getting up but then after staying in bed a little bit longer I was able to fall back to sleep and I did not wake up until 11:30am.
After I took a shower I marched right down stairs with my pillow and assumed a comfy position on the couch.
Between yesterday and today Andy and I have watched several episodes of UK Wife Swap, the newest Indiana Jones movie, we have caught up on Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Desperate Housewives. There are a few other things that we have watched but I just cant remember them right now. Andy is over at his dad's right now watching an old Everton match that he had recorded and I just caught up with The Bachelor also.
I think I am going to see if he will run down to the shop for me as I am afraid I only have like two cold pills left and am still sniffling, sneezing, coughing and aching. I miss Nyquil. Two of those little liquid capsules and I would be knocked out... haven't been able to find anything comparable yet.
However... again... regardless of how I feel I am going tomorrow, there is no way I will miss it!
Well it is official... my cough and sore throat has turned into a full blown epidemic. *ugh* I completely blame me getting so many colds on the fact that I did not get a flu shot this year, a mistake that I will not make next year. I have gotten a flu shot for so many years now but it just did not happen because of the move this year. I had not yet registered with the local surgery when they were giving them so I missed out.
My plan is to rest, rest, rest because we are back to Liverpool on Sunday for the FA Cup 5th round match against Aston Villa. The match starts at 2:30pm so at least I will not be as cold as I was during the night match against Liverpool. No matter how I feel I am still going... so I should at least rest a little to feel the best I can.
Mark is a co-worker and he sits right across from me. Today was his 40th Birthday so there were banners and balloons put up all around his desk.
I only worked 9:00 - 3:00 today so that helped me with my happy mood but I am getting a bit worried as I have had a bit of a cough starting and I do not want to be sick. Andy and I have the next three days off and the last thing I want is to be sick during our time off. *ugh*
When I got home from work I started to call around for a place to go get my hair cut and coloured tomorrow. Well guess what? It is not as easy as it is in the US. Apparently here you can not just walk into a place to get a colour you have to first make an appointment to have a skin test performed and then if all is good to go you can go back 48 hours later to get the colour. What the heck? Who has time to do this? I called at least 10 different places and they all operate like this.
Could you imagine if in the US you had to do this... I honestly believe that nobody would bother. The number of times I had decided to get a new colour and just walked into the mall and into a hair salon is countless. But no such spontaneity now.
Well they have lost my business I will just go buy a box of colour and do it myself. I just can't be bothered to go thru the hassle. Crazy.
Below is a link to some more photos that I took at work today. Don't mind the ones of Chris Peake... he acts as if he does not want his picture taken but deep down he loves it. Not everybody in my team was there today so next week I plan on taking their photos and will update the album.
This is the second time we have seen this truck on our drive to work. I took this picture mostly for my Step Dad. He is obsessed with Snap-On Tools. He can now rest easy knowing that there is a Snap-On Man here in England also.
I also love the picture that is on the back of the van. It shows a screwdriver and then above it is written "Screw Mediocrity." That is classic.
These are two curtain rails that I bought from a shop called TJ Hughes. They have been sat in this corner of my dining area for about a month. I have decided not use them in my spare bedroom and therefore do not need them.
I called TJ Hughes today after work and explained to them that they are unopened with tags still on them... but... I can not find my receipt. I told the girl that I did not expect my money back but would be happy to do an exchange as I am sure there is something else that I could find to buy. Did she say no problem? Did she say sure bring them on in? No of course not. She says that if I would like to return them without a receipt then I will need to get a copy of my bank statements which shows a purchase from TJ Hughes and then I can do an exchange for something else.
I mean seriously... This is like the whole Boots issue all over again. I can not even be bothered. I will just keep them because one day I may use them.
So our kitchen table and chairs have been unpacked and put together... but look at what is still hanging around. I think we are going to load all of the cardboard into the car on Wednesday night so that we can take it all to the recycle centre on Thursday after work.
I am so excited that I have a three day weekend this week! We were going to plan a long weekend somewhere but since we have decided to go ahead and get my Indefinite Leave To Remain Visa now instead of waiting we thought it would be best to save as much money as we can since it will cost us £950 when we go on March 5th for my appointment. *ugh* But there will be plenty of chances to get away for a long weekend somewhere. I am glad nothing was planned though because with the win last Wednesday it means Everton is in the 5th round of the FA Cup and we have tickets for this Sunday so we would not have wanted to miss that anyway.
It is time for me to go get my hair trimmed/cut and I think I am going to get it lightened also. I am normally a dirty blonde colour but the last time I went a medium brown. I love being able to change my hair... just not sure what I will do yet. I will try to do that this weekend also.
We kept hearing that more snow might be on the way but all day it was just very cold and there was no sign of snow. But then Andy wanted to run down to the Co-Op to get some garlic bread (I am making homemade lasagne tonight for tea) and when he came back he said it was starting to snow.
While I was in the kitchen starting the food I took this picture out of the side window. I doubt it will be enough to amount to anything but it is still very pretty to look at. After being in Texas since 2005 it is nice to have some nice cold weather again.
Andy and I were back in Liverpool today for the Everton v. Bolton match.. which we won 3-0! Yay!!
This statue is just outside the grounds and it was quite difficult to get a photo, there are always a ton of people around it and I had to push my way up. Here is what the plaque says:
"Dixie" Dean 1907 - 1980
All in all Dixie scored 377 goals for Everton
in 431 appearances.
Dixie also won 16 caps for England.
It was fitting that Dixie passed away at his
beloved Goodison Park in March 1980
minutes after the final whistle of an
Everton vs Liverpool derby match.
The fans of Everton love this man! Can you believe that he died while watching a derby match at Goodison... spooky.
The match was great. For the FA Cup match we had tickets on the Park End but I wanted to sit in the Lower Gwladys Street end so that I could see what it was like on that side. Figured it was best to get an idea of different seats so that I am more prepared when it comes to looking into season tickets later.
I like the atmosphere on the Gwladys side but I really loved our seats on the Park End. So I think we will probably look to be down on that end. We were able to get the exact same seats for the next FA Cup match as we did for the last one, double yay!
I would like to start off by saying I am sorry to my Mom because she told me the other day that she has sent a couple of care packages my way and I believe these items may have been in them. But you can imagine my happiness when we were at The Trafford Centre yesterday and I realized there was a Selfridges in there. I had been told by a few people that this store had some American food stocked so even though we were pushing time in getting to the the Russell Brand show I had to run in. How great is this?
They also had Mrs. Butterworths maple syrup, Lucky Charms, Fluff, Pancake mix and a few other things. I ended up getting two of the Grape Jellys and this one A1 Sauce. I will probably be back at some point to get a few other things. Selfridges is an expensive store to start with but when they tack on the price of getting the food from the US... you can only imagine!
I am still amazed at how large The Trafford Centre is, the food court alone is crazy big and they have made it to look like a cruise ship. There are also glass domes that are beautiful, I was able to take a few pictures so I have posted a link below. The main reason we went was because I wanted to eat at TGI Fridays and I am happy to report that it is just as good as it is in the States.
Sorry for the poor quality shot but you know how hard it is to take a decent photo in bad lighting and above all of the heads... especially when he was down in the crowd and not up on the stage. It also did not help that the girl in front of me thought it would be a good idea to wear a wooly hat to a an indoor gig and to keep it on the entire time. Who does that?
Russell walked around the floor and brought these girls back up to the front with him.. their sign said:
You can even tell my Grandad!
Note: I wonder if they know it is supposed to be Granddad?
I found it very funny! But a lot of people wrote and called into BBC saying that it should have never been aired. The show was not live and BBC got into trouble for playing it. Jonathan Ross was suspended from his job for several weeks but Russell ended up resigning.
I really have no idea what the big deal was. How can what they were saying that day be any worse then anybody being able to pick up 75% of the newspaper here and find a picture of a topless woman within the first few pages? These are not newspapers that are in plastic... these are just laying around for anybody to pick up. How can that be okay and the jokes they were making that day be worse? They were both adults, I am assuming she was not opposed to having sex with Russell as I am sure there are many women that would not mind and many women that have already done so.
Anyway... that is my rant done. The show was very very funny and I am so glad we were able to get tickets! We are still tired from not getting back until late last night and we are working 8am - 4pm this week but you only live once... what is a little sleep deprevation?
Russell is also very good at improve because there was several times that he would get off track because there were so many women yelling things at him while he was talking.
Great night out!
This was easily the best match I have ever been to!
The previous match which took place at Liverpool's ground ended 1-1 which is why the match came to Goodison tonight. Since this was a replay it meant that it could not end in a tie. The score stayed 0-0 during the first and second half which meant that it was going to extra time.
This consists of two halves of 15 minutes each. And it was still scoreless after the first 15 minutes... If it stayed tied then it meant it would next go to penalties and Andy was quite nervous about this and says that that Everton is not that good at being able to win when it goes to those.
Then... it happened... finally at minute 118 (only 2 minutes left).. little Dan Gosling (only 19 years old) is up against 3 to 4 Liverpool players, kicks it and IT GOES IN!!! I swear I have never seen anything like it when it happened.
We were sitting on the side of the goal and it was seriously like everything went into slow motion and it seemed like he was never going to take the shot and then... it just went in and everybody went crazy!! Andy started jumping all around people were coming over to hug other people that they did not even know... there was screaming and singing... it was GREAT!!
It was just very exciting and I am so very glad that we got tickets to go. In fact we loved the seats we were sitting in quite a lot. That is why I picked the above picture because it shows how close we were. If these two seats are available when season tickets come up for sale we have both decided that we would be happy to have them. The only issue is that there are actually two seats in between us but the man that sits in those two seats brings his young son and they have season tickets. He had no problem with letting Andy and I sit by each other which was very nice of him. Also because Andy has been wearing his bright yellow Everton 3rd Kit (as it is lucky) you can pretty much see him during the entire match when watching it back. Great seats!!
So... since we have made it past round 4 it is time to bring on the 5th! It is going to be played on Sunday February 15th and yes, of course, we have already bought our tickets and we were able to get these same two seats. Yeah!! We did not get home until close to 1am but they were already up for sale online and we wasted no time at all.
I have posted the goal below.. please take a minute or two to watch and you will get an idea of what it was like to be there!
Does the fact that Easter eggs are already out on the shelves mean that Spring is on the way... or does it just mean that they are skipping over Valentine's Day already?
I have spoke before about the of the love of chocolate here and it is a love that I happy to embrace! Look at this Easter egg, how brilliant is this? I absolutely love Cadbury Buttons and inside this giant egg there are tons of them. Andy bought the Cadbury Mini Egg version and those are quite yummy also, I may have to pinch a few.
Well tomorrow is the night... Everton v. Liverpool in the FA Cup replay! This will be my first derby match, COME ON EVERTON!!
Andy and I went to pick up some fresh fruit from Tesco's tonight and I was SO excited when Andy pointed out the Fuji Apples!
I love these apples and thought that I would not be able to get them over here... Woo Hoo!
So last night it started snowing and this morning there was about 2-3 inches on the car but apparently that is nothing to what down South is getting! I called to try to book my ILR Visa Appointment and the Home Office was closed due to the weather. I wonder if all of London is at a stand still? Some how I doubt it.
So... a couple of weeks ago I was having a look around eBay and look at what I came across. It was really low priced and only had about 15 minutes left in bidding. I ended up getting it for a steal!
The person selling it is trying to raise some money to go travelling. Her uncle is a grounds keeper at Goodison and had it signed for her in 2005 for her 21st birthday.
After I received it and was able to measure it I then ordered the frame from eBay as well. Which arrived in record time and included was everything I needed to hang it. They even engraved a little plaque for me so I had them write this:
The People's Club
In three little words... He loves it!! Very impressed that I was able to get it for so cheap but I explained it was a short auction and I was able to catch it at the right time. And of course I also love it as Tim Cahill signed it just to the right of the two elephants above the Chang logo.