Category Archives: Manhattan

Great Things in December

Inspired by Kari, I wanted to sum up my month of December with good things that happened on each day of the month.  I did miss a few, so if you see a few days skipped, don’t worry.

December 1: First real shift at my new library job

December 2: Finally getting to meet little miss Zoe

December 3: An encouraging, honest talk with Maris

December 4: Celebrating my husband’s grandfather’s 90th birthday

December 5: Watching the Office with my husband

December 6: Watching Remember the Titans with my husband, while he allowed me to quote all of the actors

December 7: Getting to work in the YA section at my library

December 8: Starting to read a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while now

December 9: Stopping by my old workplace and talking to friends there

December 10: Having my cousin Jamie stop by my apartment

December 11: Talking with my mom about The Hunger Games

December 12: Cooking broccoli and cauliflower stir-fry

December 13: Hosting my first giveaway on the blog!

December 14: Staying up late to read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

December 15: Having my husband’s best friend (who lives in California) eat with us

December 16: Babysitting my favorite little one-year-old

December 18: Getting my Christmas shopping done in 45 minutes

December 19: Attempting to ice skate

December 20: Johnson family annual sugar cookie making

December 21: Jenny’s tuna melt at the Bistro

December 23: A Very Merry Kyle Moreland Christmas show

December 24: Celebrating Christmas with my husband’s family

December 25: Playing Outburst with my family

December 26: Making homemade mozzarella sticks with my brothers

December 27: Making Mediterranean hotpot

December 29: Getting trained to work at the desk at work


Posted by on January 1, 2011 in Food, Manhattan, Married Life


It’s a twister, it’s a twister!

Well, actually, no, it wasn’t a twister, but it very well could have been.  Yesterday afternoon and early evening, my city was hit by a tremendous wind storm with the makings of a tornado.  Gusts reached 90 mph in Manhattan and 50 mph in Topeka, our capital city.  The storm and the damage that resulted from it brought back memories of the tornado that blew through the city in the summer of 2008.  Yes, folks, tornadoes do actually touch down and do damage in Kansas.  Unfortunately, we don’t have the option of visiting the Land of Oz during them like Dorothy did.  Well, unless you’re in Wamego, where they are raising funds to make the main street into a yellow brick road.  Yes, my friends, in just a few years, my hometown might very well be the laughingstock of Kansas.  But, I diverge, and will return to the original topic.  I’ve had way too much coffee this morning and am beyond jittery and shaking.  Here are a few pictures showing the damage throughout the city of Manhattan.

Plenty of trees were uprooted from the ground, crushing cars and falling on houses.

This picture is difficult to decipher because I was driving when I took it, but the truck you see is a tow truck that is working to remove an entire tree that fell across the road way.  There was also a huge billboard along the highway that was completely uprooted from it’s stake in the ground, as well as a semi that the winds blew off the road and turned on its top in the ditch.  I am not playing with you, my friends, this seriously happened.  If only I would have been smart enough to snap pictures of it.

I was, however, quick enough to capture this moment, with the Sonic sign completely blow off.  Carhops were still hopping and in business this morning, though.

You might be asking yourself, “But, Amber, weren’t you scared? What did you do?”  Well, my friends, I am a true Kansan and was most upset at the fact that I was stuck in our shelter at work, with no windows to look out and see what was going on.  Seriously, for those of my readers that are not from Kansas, when a tornado warning or watch is in effect, people don’t go to their shelters, they go to their front porches.  I wish that I was kidding.

After being released from work when the air was clear of wind, rain and tornadoes, I headed home to check on my apartment.  Turns out my husband had joined the other residents on the third floor of our building and took cover in a basement apartment.  Everyone was safe and no cars in our parking lot were crushed by falling trees.  However, we were without power until about 11:30 pm.  Thanks to the hospitality of our neighbors, we enjoyed chocolate cake and white wine in the stifling heat that was their apartment with no air conditioning.

Lesson to be learned from this:  If you’re not from or living in Kansas, you should be.  The weather patterns make for great fun.

P.S.  If you click on the link to Wamego’s official website, you might catch a glimpse of my stud brother quarterbacking for his high school football team.  I’m a pretty proud sister, if you didn’t know that already.


Posted by on August 14, 2010 in Kansas, Manhattan, Married Life, Uncategorized


an ever-growing stack

For my fellow book bloggers out there, you know what it’s like to see your TBR pile (or shelf) continue to grow and expand to frightening proportions.  For my fellow wives out there, you know what it’s like to see your to-do list (groceries, meal planning, cleaning, time with family, date nights) continue to grow and expand to overwhelming proportions.  Tonight, these two piles are coming head-to-head in a showdown of sorts.  And you get to be my witnesses.

Now, I have to preface this conversation by saying that my husband is not a neanderthal incapable of cooking his own food and cleaning up after himself.  He is currently spending ten hours a week in class and 35+ hours a week working, so it is of my own volition that I tackle cleaning, cooking and keeping ourselves generally organized.  He knows that his time will soon come to be able to assist more on these tasks.  Here are just a few “housekeeping” tasks ahead of me tonight:

  • Follow the #bblog conversation on Twitter while waiting for the Drano to do its magic in our bathroom sink
  • Plan out meals for the next 3-4 days (vegetarian meals!)
  • Make grocery list for said meals
  • Scour the bathroom after aforementioned Drano works its magic
  • Wash all dirty dishes to elude the fear of looking in my kitchen

We shall see how many items get crossed off this list.  Now on to the books!  Below, you will see the books I am currently reading.

Connecting by Larry Crabb I have heard great things about this author/speaker/psychologist and am reading it in hopes of deepening my relationships with people and learning to love well.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo  The next book (#97) on my way from #100 to #1 of the Top Children’s Books

An American Childhood by Annie Dillard I recently “joined” a book club and we will be meeting next Thursday to discuss this 1987 autobiography

The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett  You might recall from a few weeks ago, that this book was in my TBR pile for the 48-Hour Book Challenge, but I am just now getting to it!

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright Recommended by a fellow blogger and real-life friend

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume Had the pleasure of reading The Rising Star of Rusty Nail by the same author, which was nominated for Kansas’ own book award, so I am excited to try out another one of hers

What’s on everyone else’s TBR pile or to-do list?  I know I’m not alone!

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Posted by on June 16, 2010 in Children's Books, Food, Manhattan


war of the sandwiches

If you caught my earlier post this week, you would know that my husband are trying out the “weekday vegetarian” lifestyle.  While I finished the week successfully, my husband did not so much (he works in a restaurant, folks, we gotta cut him some slack).  Our new recipe for the week was Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, which turned out mighty tasty in my opinion.  Not my first choice, but good, nonetheless.  And we gotta fit that protein in there somewhere!

The week didn’t go by without a hitch, however.  Around ten o’clock last night, I started to get a craving for my favorite sandwich, which happens to include a little meat.  As valiant as his persuasive skills are, my husband couldn’t convince me to settle for fried potatoes instead.  But alas!  Jimmy John’s has a veggie sandwich!  So we made the trek over to the Ville and picked up their biggest veggie sandwich.  Upon realization that I had never walked out of this restaurant without having eaten a Turkey Tom, I wasn’t sure if I could follow through on the deal.  With some encouragement from my man, I settled in and took my first few bites.  Wowzers!  What a delicious concoction.  Props to Jimmy John’s for creating a veggie sandwich that even non-vegetarians can seriously enjoy and might even prefer.

Monday starts another vegetarian week.  Any good ideas for recipes?


Posted by on May 29, 2010 in Food, Manhattan, Married Life