Monday, November 30, 2009

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

and it has since Halloween (well just at the stores and what not)! I think I am finally starting to get into the Christmas Spirit! Andrew and I helped his sister and brother-in-law at their Christmas tree farm all weekend. They have cut your own trees and his sister makes beautiful fresh wreaths as well. We didn't get our tree this weekend, but we are going to go on Saturday with my parents to cut one down. This coming weekend is also our first Christmas get together with friends, then we have my family Christmas on the 19th before my grandparents go back to Florida and our annual Christmas Eve party on the 24th! I haven't started buying gifts and Andrew cannot decide what he wants yet.....I had a good deal of ideas for him though, as always!

I cannot wait to decorate my house for the holidays and to have a fresh tree! I'll be sure to post some pictures when everything is done!

Favorite things about the season:
  • Watching movies: Christmas Vacation, Elf, Muppets Christmas Carol, The Santa Clause, Its a Wonderful Life, Jingle All the Way, Miracle on 34th Street
  • Music: I like the old songs - Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, The Andrew's Sisters, Ray Charles and some of the newer stuff isn't too bad.
  • Smells: The tree and cookies baking (I need to get started on that)
  • Our Polish Christmas Eve dinner: Enough said, homemade perogies are the BEST!
  • Sending out Christmas Cards
  • Eating lots of cookies
  • Hot chocolate and my dad spiking the coffee with either Whiskey or Bailey's
  • Getting dressed up for Christmas Eve Mass and seeing all the little kids in their adorable Christmas outfits.
What are your favorites?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My only ER moment

I'm pretty sure I was 8 or 9 when it happened. It was a Sunday afternoon and my parents were practicing in the Catholic School Cafeteria for church. They sing in a "folk group" (singers and guitars) at our church and have since we moved to Ohio. The kids, probably about 8 of us, were running around the cafeteria tables playing tag. I was of course dressed up from church, probably in some super girly get up, little patten leather shoes and a dress. I rounded a corner and lost my balance and BAM, hit the hard floor face first. Of course I probably screamed bloody murder since I was quite the dramatic child and my parents came running over to see if I was okay. By this point I knew I was bleeding and I figured I knocked a tooth out or something. I had busted my chin completely open.

My mom ran over to the rectory (where the church office is and the priests live) and got some bandages, gauze and what not. My dad figured we better be safe and go to the ER because I would probably need stitches. I remember him telling me that and me freaking out and screaming again. I didn't want someone sewing my face back together! So we were off to Mt. Carmel, my mom sat in the back seat with me and held the gauze up to my face so I didn't bleed everywhere. By the time we got to the hospital I was in freak out mode again, I'd never been to the ER before. My dad signed me in (mind you, he HATES hospitals so he was probably freaking out too) and my mom found a place for us to sit and wait. I wanna say we waited for 3 hours but I could be exaggerating. When we finally did get called back a nice young doctor took a look at my battle wound and decided I didn't need stitches (thank God) so they cleaned me up and put some butterfly bandages on my face. I can still feel that scar on my chin to this day.

Today I'm participating in writers workshop over at Mama Kat's so head on over and do the same, I did prompt one about telling and ER story!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beware: Scam

There is a new scam going around involving Visa Cards, somehow my information was obtained by a company claiming to be involved with Visa - here is what happened:

Got missed calls on my cell phone from:

This was over the course of 2 or 3 days and I just ignored them since they never left a message until one day they did. They said they were an "Order Confirmation Department" calling to verify a rebate for my recent order. They didn't say there name or the company name and said they needed to verify information and to call back. When you do call them back you have no option to talk to a person so I just waited till they called again and answered. This time they wanted to verify my address (they had the wrong one but I didn't tell them that) and they had the last 4 numbers of my debit card.

I told them to remove me from there list and to never call again, the girl was very rude and hung up on me saying that I should accept the "free" gas card they were sending me. When I went to cash my check on Friday I talked to a personal banker and he cut up my card and ordered me a new one (I paid the $5 to get it in two days).

They have been calling a few other people that I know and called my parents number as well asking for me and saying they were Visa, making it seem like it was something important. My personal banker told me not to shop online again for a while and to call the attorney general to file a complaint. But the calls did stop and no money was taken from my checking account.

I hate scams like this and just wanted to let everyone know to watch out for these calls. I've learned too that putting weird numbers that call you into Google is great, a lot of times you can find out loads of information about these people!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend in Review

This past weekend was both productive and odd. Friday night Andrew and I went to a Beat Michigan party at one of my brothers friends houses. It was a lot of fun, they burn a dummy dressed up in Michigan clothes and everyone yells OH-IO the whole time....there were a TON of people there and we stayed till pretty late.

Saturday morning we got up early to start staining the deck. This was probably going to be the last warm-ish weekend for a long time here in Ohio and we couldn't let that thing continue to deteriorate. It was a lot of work because we pretty much had to do the whole thing with a paint brush. I helped Andrew with all of the trim work, his dad was supposed to come over but his grandma had gotten increasingly sick over the course of the week and someone needed to be with her 24/7. After getting all of the trim work done both of us were pretty exhausted (I'll post pics tomorrow because my camera is dead - you'll see why it took so long) and we decided to cook a nice meal and relax. I made mac n cheese from scratch and Andrew cooked up some of our steaks from the cow we bought. It was super good!

Sunday morning we were both up early ready to get the remainder of the deck finished. Andrew got on the computer as always and had an email from his dad that his grandma was doing even worse and that his sister had stayed with her all night. Apparently she had not eaten since Thursday or drank anything, her breathing was labored and her coughing was really bad. They called in Hospice that night and they made her comfortable. By 8:45am on Sunday she was gone and passed peacefully in her sleep with Andrews parents by her side. It was odd simply because she had been sick for so long, about 5 years and everyone was just hoping that she wouldn't have to struggle anymore. She probably weighed no more than 80lbs and 2 years ago when I met Andrew she was still walking and weighed twice that, she really went downhill quickly. There will be a small family memorial for her, but since she donated her body to the OSU Medical School there won't be an actual burial for her till a year from now. She decided to do this after having leukemia and cancer several years ago. She was 92 years old.

Andrew is off at a work training for two days and on Wednesday we'll have Thanksgiving with his family. I have Thursday off but no other days so we'll go to my grandparents that day. This weekend we'll be helping Andrews sister and brother-in-law at there Christmas tree farm - maybe that will help me get into the spirit a little more.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You ain't nothin but a (basset) hound dog

When Andrew and I started dating I immediately fell in love with his Basset Hound Bessie. Her droopy eyes, big ears and funny feet just made you wanna love on her all the time. She became our constant companion as a couple, going on our long walks around West Jefferson and nesting in the dirty clothes hamper when I'd stay the night. Bessie has just always been a part of our relationship. We talk about her like she is a kid, have tons of pictures of her and constantly make her the center of attention.

And sometimes we forget that she is a HOUND and no, that's not always a good thing. Sure its cute when she buries a bone out in the yard only to dig it up a few days later and re-bury it somewhere else. Sure its funny to hear her howl at the top of her lungs when she catches a scent or sees a cat running across the street. But she can also be really troublesome. She is extremely smart, sometimes too smart for her own good.

Her favorite troublesome act is getting into the trash. Sometimes you forget that she is so talented at this act and accidentally leave her out of her cage for say a whole day and come home to find the WORST mess ever!!! She'll eat pretty much anything that is in there, eggshells, moldy bread, pieces of onion, food that was tossed from the fridge and paper that someone has wiped something on that smells like food. Then once she has strewn garbage from the back door to the front door of the house, she will go to the bathroom in the house. And she always does it on the carpet upstairs, number one and number two.

I dread the days when I realize I've accidentally left her out only to come home to a horrible mess and at least 40 minutes of cleaning ahead of me. She gets mad when you leave her all day and this is her way of acting out. If its not trash, she'll eat a whole loaf of bread or other bakery items such as cookies and donuts. She's also eaten bird seed and suet cakes (no, I am NOT kidding), an entire unopened bag of dog food, a box of dog bones and Hershey kisses with the wrappers still on. I am sure there are more things but these are the only ones I can recall, I bet if Andrew was telling this story he would have lots more!

For the most part she is a really good dog, but on her bad days.....she is a really, really bad dog!

I'm participating in the writers workshop over at Mama Kat's and using prompt number two, so get on over there and do the same!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight For Preemies

I was not a preemie baby, but to some extent was as sick as one when I was born. My due date was May 15th but I did not arrive until May 30th because back then (1985) they late you cook for an extra two weeks. My mom was induced and her labor was easy, but apparently I didn't want to come out yet and when I did I was mad. Three days after my mom, dad and grandma brought me home I was feeding and quit breathing. My dad was out of town for work and my panic induced first time mom and grandmother rode with me in an ambulance to the hospital. They put me in an isolation chamber and ran a number of tests (including a spinal tap) on me only to find I had a staph infection, given to me by one of the delivery nurses. For days my mom and dad were not allowed to hold me or touch me. I had IV's coming out of my feet and monitors all over my body. I cannot even imagine how scared my mom must have been, especially since for the first few days my dad couldn't make it back home to be with her (his boss was a jerk). Finally though I was able to come back home, only to come down with jaundice and get sick again. But thankfully 3 1/2 years later when my mom had my brother he was healthy and born on his due date. She didn't have to go through that fear again.

Today is Preemies Awareness Day, Sponsored by March of Dimes as well as Bloggers Unite who put together this blog-a-thon.

Babies I would like to remember today:

Jefferey Ross Harold South - Born premature on Sept. 21st 2009 and too tiny to stay with us. His actual due date was May 16th, 2009. His mother Ashley is one of my good friends from high school and I was devastated to hear of her loss after her and her husband had been trying for over a year to have baby. She has a 6 year old daughter and is now pregnant again with her third baby, due in September of 2010.

Adam Keller - My best friend Melissa's son who was born 3 weeks pre-mature by C-Section because he was breech. Melissa was on bed rest for most of her pregnancy because of pre-term labor. He was in the NICU because of swallowing a bunch of mucus when he came out but recovered fine and is now a bouncing silly, nearly two year old cutie! (Melissa, I stole this info from one of your

The unborn babies that were lost way to soon for my grandma and Andrew's mother - both of them had miscarriages very early into the pregnancy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How the times have changed

I hung out with my best group of college friends on Saturday for the Ohio State game. We drank and ate and the girls sort of watched the game and chatted the evening away. Its funny how our conversations have changed since college. We talked about different things we've been cooking, cleaning tips, gas stoves compared to electric and home maintenance. Five years ago we would have only worried about what shoes we were wearing to the dance club and who was going to help straighten our hair. Its funny how much things have changed. We all have significant others, one of us is married and another will be married by this time next year. None of us live at home anymore and we all have full time jobs. I don't feel we have changed in bad ways, but that we have all matured in some way or another without realizing it.

I find that I've changed a lot in my habits and spending as well. I don't shop nearly as much as I used too and if I do, I'll admit its at a consignment store or goodwill. I did spend a good $30 at Target the other day on clothes but I needed socks and new white shirts to wear under some of my winter clothes. I shop at Aldi now for groceries and I get excited when I get a good deal on food or something I really needed for the house. I don't think that would have excited me five years ago. I don't drink during the week anymore, I go out to eat maybe once a week, I've given up fast food and I don't drink pop anymore either.

Its funny to look back and see how things have have things changed for you?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bake me a (cup)cake as fast as you can

I've always loved baking, but as a kid and a young adult I typically stuck with easy stuff like brownies from a box and cookie recipes from the back of the chocolate chip bag. The last few years though I've started to teach myself (and learn from my mom) how to make things from scratch. Things that I used to make from a "just add water/milk/oil/eggs" kit. I don't use Bisquick anymore to make biscuts, no more chocolate chip recipes from the back of the bag, and no more cake mix! Most recently I made cupcakes for Andrew's family Halloween party. I made the yellow cake from scratch and the icing was a new recipe I never tried before. You had to heat up milk, sugar and flour to make it and it had a very light flavor. Rich icing tends to make me feel sick if I eat to much of it so I tried this recipe out. The cupcakes were a hit at the party. Making cake from scratch takes a lot longer than the stuff from a box, but it tastes 100 times better and stays moist longer. Rotating the adding of milk and flour is what gives the batter such a nice texture and the icing dries hard so you don't have to worry about it running everywhere!

I did prompt number 5 from Mama Kat's so get on over there, find a prompt and do the same!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Here we go Steelers, here we go!!

Those who know me best know that I'm a crazy Steelers fan. I try not to miss a game and I'm always up on whats going on with the team. I yell at the TV during games, wear a jersey or shirt every week when they play and even more than once a week if they win. This season they are now on there 5th straight win after whooping the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium last night.

I know maybe its crazy that this is the number one thing I love about fall (well the season changing and the leaves falling is nice too). Its been interesting not living at home during football season, even in college I went home to watch games with my dad and I've watched a few with him this year. Andrew doesn't understand my odd obsession with football....he makes fun of me when we watch games but he is starting to recognize players and different things that go on.

Yes, you read that right, Andrew doesn't like football and yes I'm dating him.

Here is further proof that I am Pittsburgh Crazy!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

What I am (or am not) as a blogger

I don't think many people read my blog and that's fine I suppose. I'm not really fulfilling a niche with the things I write about.

I'm not a mom, but I sure read lots of mom blogs.
I'm not testing fancy products.
I don't do amazing photography.
I cook good things, but rarely post it on here.
I don't travel the world or live in some exotic place.

I'm just Amanda a 24 year old from Central Ohio who works and lives with her boyfriend. We have a basset hound (who I pretty much treat like a person or a child) and we're not rich or entertaining in any way, shape or form.

I mostly write about my life and what I'm up to; sometimes I post a few pictures, sometimes I do some sort of myspace survey. I used to participate in things like Haiku Friday, but alas they no longer exist. I really think that my goal here is to find readers like me or who have something in common with me! I'm not married (yet) and I don't have a baby but I think there are many bloggers in this same position.....

I love reading my friends blogs and encourage them to read too and give me there ideas. I really want to find readers (as well as blogs that I can read) about men and women who are in a similar life situation as me.....but I have no idea where to start. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

And in other news......the weekend was not all that thrilling, Saturday we ran errands and had a nice family dinner with Andrew's parents and siblings. Sunday we did things separately, Andrew went off to discover the treasures of the junkyard and I went to see my parents and grandparents. My grandma gave me some more glassware and some things to decorate the house with....every time I take a few boxes to goodwill I come home from her house with 3 more. I love her though and I'm glad that she is sharing her love of antiques with me!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This week I'm thankful for.....

Having the water softener hooked up and not having to clean water stains and rust stains off of everything in the house. The soap comes out of my hair easier, the dishes don't have spots on them and the washing machine looks white again.

Learning how to cook new things since I literally have 1/4 of a cow in my freezer. I've never had beef so fresh and so tasty!

Pumpkin Pie.

Having a garage to park in for the first time EVER! I don't have to warm up my car anymore and it doesn't get as dirty now!

Freshly bathed Basset Hounds.

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fight for Preemies - Nov. 17th

Over at A Mommy Story there is a great blog about her advocacy for the March of Dimes. After a friend of mine recently lost a baby due to prematurity I have decided to join in the fight to save these little babies that are born too soon. I've also had a few other friends who have had preemies that were born with complications but were able to stay with us.

If you would like to join the cause you can learn more about it on the March of Dimes website about preemies and the awareness day and you can copy the button on my side bar and display it on your blog for the month of November. You can then sign up for the even at the Bloggers Unite website and write a blog in memory of or about a preemie baby that you know.

I know that we all hope and pray to have healthy children but that isn't always the case for millions of women everyday in this country. I am not a mother myself but instead I am an advocate and someone who one day would like to have health, full term babies.

Please join this cause with me!