Friday, 25 May 2007

roommate dedication...

So...who has the most awesome roommate-that would be me. I had to say goodbye to my roommate, Rich, last night. He left early this morning for Barcelona for a weekend long bachelor party. A friend of his is getting married next month. How cool would that be to be able to have your bachelor party in Spain and not have it cost that much. His flight cost less than $100. Can we even fly to KC for $100? And further more-why would we want to? It is cool to be able to fly all over Europe for cheap from England.

Anyway, Rich is kind of enough to guarantee a place for me in his home when I return in July and is also more than willing to host my mom since she is coming back with me. He is also letting me leave some of my stuff here for free. He really has been the best roommate. I was nervous about living with someone-I had been living by myself for the last three years and loved it. However, he has been a breath of fresh air: he's clean (except for leaving dirty pans in the oven-it's funny-he hides them in there), we have similar tastes in movies, he's always concerned I don't eat enough, he drops me off and picks me up from the train station, and has good taste in furniture and art, so I don't feel like I need to slowly change things.

He's been a great roommate and I'm going to miss him. I couldn't have been more blessed.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007


Well...eighth time's a charm. At least, it is for me and biscuits. I finally made buttermilk biscuits in England. They look like they're supposed to and taste good. However, it took a lot more effort than the directions on the package requried. Oh well, I'm happy to have biscuits!

Sunday, 20 May 2007

One more week...

And I'll be back in Kansas. I'm ready-I'm seriously hungry. I'm tired of chicken (gasp!!)-that's pretty much the only thing I eat. If I get tired of it-I don't really have any backups. I'm not so much of chicken on a whole, but I'm tired of roasted or broiled chicken. I've started packing. I have four suitcases-two are staying here. I've packed two and there doesn't seem to be much of a dent in my room.

Today, we were cleaning our fish pond-actually Rich was cleaning, I was making sure the fish stayed in the bucket-silly things kept jumping out. Once the pond was drained, there were a bunch of frogs at the bottom. For being a girly-girl, I don't have problems touching frogs, toads, fish, turtles, etc so I went to pick up a frog. Rich noticed what I was doing and told me to be careful and not touch the red frog because it might be poisonous. Of course, what did I hold in my hands? A red frog. I went specificially for that one because it was red and I hadn't seen a red frog except in the zoo. England doesn't really have much "wildlife", so I didn't think it was harmful. It didn't bite me or anything and it looks exactly like the other frogs, but red. I looked it up on the internet and couldn't find one like it-it definitely isn't a Tomato frog or the Poison-Arrow frog. Maybe it's just "special."

Leeds Fashion Week is this week-it starts May 24 and runs through the weekend. I'll take lots of pictures. I have a few details to work on, but I'm mostly ready.

Friday, 11 May 2007

What am I doing wrong??

I don't claim to be a good cook or even a fair cook, but I can read. Since I'm not a very good cook, I follow the directions very well-I'm one of those that precisely measures my ingredients, double checks the quantity, does exactly what it says. However, every time I try to make some type of biscuit, they do NOT turn out. The British don't have what we call biscuits-biscuits to them are cookies. Not even KFC or McDonald's have biscuits-that's the only thing I like from KFC (I don't like their chicken) and a plain biscuit is only thing I will eat from McDonald's for breakfast, but they don't have them-they use McMuffins for everything and KFC only has fries, excuse me, I mean chips for a side. The closest thing they have are scones-I bought some-melted a little butter on them, set them in the oven to warm up. I was so excited because they LOOK like biscuits, however, they do not taste like them. I was very disappointed, but not really surprised. I was just hoping...

Anyway, I brought with me from the States some packages of buttermilk biscuits-just preheat the oven (check), add a cup of milk (check), mix and drop on lightly greased cookie sheet (check), bake for 8-10 minutes. I did exactly what it said-did I get buttermilk biscuits?? Nope. I got those odd shaped balls you seen in the picture-they're supposed to look like the ones on the package. They didn't taste very good-the tops were edible, but they were really dried out. And that, I blame the oven for. They have "fan assisted" ovens here-there is a fan constantly blowing supposedly to circulate the hot air to cook the food faster. I have to laugh at that-it always takes TWICE as long whenever I'm cooking something. It says 15 minutes for my banana nut muffins-30 minutes later they're almost done.

I have been cooking more these past 5 month than I've cooked my entire life. I'm starting to enjoy it-I think I'll enjoy cooking more back in States. The oven (it's also gas) and I do not get along. I've heard gas ovens are easier, but not for me. That flame and I are often at odds-I turn it down, it goes off. I turn it up, it tries to catch me on fire.

I'm including a few pictures of Leeds. The round building is the Corn Exchange where I've taken some of my jewelry that I made and sold it. I did really well-I want to bring over Finis Opus stuff in July to sell. The other pictures are of the Briggate-popular shopping area. The horses that live near me have some cute ponies, so I'm including a picture of them also.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Just an FYI

I would really appreciate if all of you could keep my friend, Aaron and his family in your thoughts and prayers. His parent's house was destroyed in the tornado in Greensburg. Aaron was in Haviland all day Saturday since that is where some of the shelters are. They were hoping to get into Greensburg Sunday with trucks/trailers to see what they can salvage. I wish I could go help them, but I'm stuck in England, so I would really appreciate if you would pray for them. Thanks!

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Busy Bee

The time seems to be flying by-I've been really busy lately trying to finish up papers and study for finals. One paper is done, two to go and I'm not too worried about the final (fortunately, I only have one). I finished up my internship last week. I really enjoyed it and the new Edward Burne-Jones gallery looked awesome. Birmingham Museum and Gallery are trying to improve their Pre-Raphaelite exhibits-they've been getting a lot of criticism because they have the largest collection, but not much is on display, so they are working on it. I'm glad I got to be a part of it.

Most of you know, I'm a hardcore Byron scholar (or geek, however you want to look at it) and on Tuesday I finally made it to Newstead Abbey. It's closed from November to April and I tried to go last Friday and it rained (the only day in weeks). Tuesday was a lovely day and I made it to the Abbey with no problems (using a variety of public transportation and lots of walking). To give you a little history, Newstead Abbey was originally an Augustinian priory founded in about 1170. It was a working priory until Henry VIII dissolved the monastery in 1539. However, Henry granted Newstead to the poet's ancestor, Sir John Byron, who converted the priory into a house. It was in the Byron family until Lord Byron sold it in 1818 and it was given to the Nottngham Council in 1931. It's a very well preserved abbey, unlike most in England that were gutted. The gardens are beautiful and there are two lakes and a few ponds.

I've included a few pictures of Josh's football game from last week. He plays on the Old Bridge Sunday league. They're pretty good and doing well in their league. There are many football leagues and I don't pretend to keep up on them very well, so I don't know how they rank "overall." He is number 8. This is their home pitch and it isnt't the best, it's not even and I think it floods often.

After living here, I've gained a fair amount of knowledge of football and enjoy watching it more. I've been keeping track of the Champion's League games and even watched the last two. The final is between Liverpool and Manchester United- Josh and Rich are cheering for Liverpool-I guess I will too.