Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dear Toby,

Dear Toby (a most loyal employee of the News and Observer), 
Let me just say that after going to Sunday School and Preachin' today I owe you an apology for my honest outburst of emotion and verbal adjectives which were used in a very appropriate undermining tone earlier this morning. Since your office is now closed, I feel the need to redeem myself via blogging. Also, since you all apparently cannot get addresses correct for like the 5th time, I assume you may not even know your own email address much less mailing address of your company the News and Observer (for which I would send this letter).  I would like to apologize to you and the other two individuals whom I called incompetent idiots working for dumbest newspaper company EVER this side of the Mississipi. I must say that the two idiots persons that I reached before you were smart enough to actually transfer me, twice, to a supervisor in delivery services. That would be you Toby, in case you forgot your title.

Since I woke up at a mere 8:15 this morning after one amazing party last night (more to come on that) I may have been a leeeeetle more cranky than usual for a Sunday morning. And you should all know I am not a real person until at least after 9:00am + food intake + Diet Coke. Quite possibly it also could be that this is the 2nd Sunday I have not received my paper after you raped my bank account of $52. This was the News and Observer's first mistake in taking my call this morning plus, the wait time of 5+ minutes while my fuming was ignited into rage. Now, surely you telemarketer types will all have caller-ID installed promptly in your cubicles and when you see Austin, S. come up you will purposely pull the fire alarm in order for you all to escape the building safely. I don't blame you. By the way, caller ID refers to a telephone system that informs you of the person calling at the present time.

Toby, I probably would not have been as upset with you if it were not for the fact that I spoke with someone at your loser-of-a-distribution center on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week. Here are the problems that ensued from your company prematurely getting high off my $52 for a years worth of papers. That would be one whole year (52 weeks) plus the three weeks you idiots people have supposedly already credited my account.

You had the county, city, and address wrong all within my first 3 phone calls. Then you can't deliver here to my house of a mere 1/6 of a mile from the city limits. Oh wait yes you can. Oh wait no you can't. Yes. No. Yes. No. Maybe?????

Furthermore, thank you so much for agreeing with me even though I don't think you really had any clue that my ideas were in fact smarter than yours. Remember what I said? I can go over that again in case I was too audible for you the first time. It would be much easier on you and your company if you could actually:

1) get people's addresses correct (even though they spelled them for you. Twice)
2) actually correct the information once it is given to you yet a third time.
3) sign people up for what they paid for, like delivery (where the paper is actually delivered to homes)  instead of mailing (this is the system for the newspaper to be delivered via the United States Postal System).
4) Don't have your entourage of uninformed paperboys to man the local Wal-mart and Food Lion to sign people up if you are in fact not going to deliver to that area. (this one should be a no-brainer)
5) and finally, actually have some sort of system for informing your tele-market friends and co-workers of where the paper actually can be delivered in case you do in fact receive calls.

I do appreciate your heart-felt apology of  "I'm sorry" and "Good idea" every time I said something that you knew was a good idea but you were too stupid to think of on your own. I am smart enough to know that you did not actually have those ideas in place and your boss is in fact more intellectually challenged than you are, simply for hiring you.

Hopefully, this will clear up any misunderstanding that we had this morning and reinforce the fact that the N&O's creditability is at stake in the Austin household and surrounding areas (particualarly those inside the city limits and just beyond). Oh, and throughout Timberlake where you must actually commute directly through in order to reach Roxboro for your so-called delivery scandals.

Finally, No I would not like the paper mailed, even though I paid for your convenient Sunday delivery. The only reason I even want the paper is for the coupons which must be the most-credible portion of the N&O. And that only happens once a week.  If I want to get coupons so I can rustle up 58 bottles of ketchup at $.18 each just because its a good deal, it has nothing to do with you. Extreme Couponing is not a crime and I don't appreciate the discrimination. I just want the Freakin' coupons! I believe our conversation ended with "refund." However, I will show you Mr. N&O. I will find somewhere in town to deliver my paper on a regular basis. And until then, when I send Sean Austin to the newspaper machine before 7:00 on Sunday to get a paper whilst waiting on one of your idiot employees to drop them off, I will NOT scold him for taking the whole stack for $2. I will encourage it.


Amber R. Austin

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Can I just say that it is nothing other than the grace of God that I have been blog surfing tonight and I saw THIS POST. A recent fellow blogger....

Lindsey, as in Mommy Teaches!  , posted the sweetest most uplifting post today about ME. Little ol' me and my randomness. I needed this so bad today and I am so humbled and honored that she would choose me over all the other wonderful bloggers and authors out there.

Is this not the most amazing, uplifting thing????

MADE.MY.DAY!!!! Thank you so much Lindsey!

In turn, I would just like to say that Lindsey has got to be on my "Faves List"...I LOVE her blogs about teaching and the whole world that goes along with it. A MUST read! I'm going to grab her button RIGHT NOW so that you can all have constant access to her from my blog site.

What a great night!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In my Next Life as a Farmer's Wife.......

Just when you thought the Rox couldn't get any more entertaining and it is the absolute smallest town on earth, you realize that there are towns that are in fact smaller, have less shopportunity, and way more tractors and corn fields. Meet Roxboro's lil' sister....

If you learned anything about me at all over the last 20 blogs or so you should know that the small-town living is yet growing on me again (well a little). I once thought I would never move back to the Rox and now I am here and figuring out if I like it or not.  There is no escape from people knowing where you are, who you are with, or what time you got home.  Someone probably already told yo' mama before you could. Anyways, one of the best things about me living back on the Rox is my J-O-B. I love my job so much and every now and then I get to escape my office and visit with my providers at their homes. It is so refreshing to go and squeeze on some little babies that you know you can leave there and that you are not actually paying child care for. Nor do they wake up screaming at your house.

Lucky for me I ventured out today to visit some providers in Caswell County. I swear if I am ever reincarnated as a farmer's wife, we must live in Caswell County. It is the land of absolutely nothing and it is such beautiful country. Don't worry, I found some farms for sell today that I am prepared to share with you for purchase. Mainly because I was following a tractor going about 20 MPH for about 8 miles. I had plenty of time for photographs. Seriously.

A Few Caswell County Highlights:
The DMV- open one day per month; 1 grocery store, Bojangles, McDonalds, Dollar General, and ummmm 1 traffic light I believe.  There is also a prison there (in case there are any of your local friends you would like to visit occasionally on Sunday's in the Clink....) Well, my most favorite part of the Caswell County experience is a visit to Yoder's. Ummm Hmmm.
Thank God for the Amish. Y'all keep it real.

I just got me some nutritious snacks and some super handy canning devices that I couldn't find on the Rox. Yeeeeeeee Dawgieeeeeeeeee

I also got some of the BEST snackin' must haves. 

And some necessities for cannin' which I couldn't find on the Rox anywhere....
lid grabber, can grabber, retractable teaspoon and tablespoon :)
And Here are some those magical places I found for my reincarnated life. 

Can't you just picture it?  Me... with some huge garden I can barely contain, canning stuff, selling at the Farmer's Market, hollering at my children out the kitchen window to come in for supper (I am also not a working-mom in my reincarnated life). I can so picture it.

And as well all know, every small town must have a place to unwind....

 It's also convienently located 1 mile from here......
Coincidence? I think so.

Overall, a lovely day in the 110 degree heat, getting in and out of my car to love on some babies and enjoy the best part of my job...Road trips! So, until my next life, the Rox it is......

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Conviction Vol. 1

There is no other way to describe this post other than conviction. It will take 2 Volumes to really explain.  It seems here lately, I am on a little coaster-ride through an emotional valley. I would say since my last post, I feel like I have had every possible emotion pulled out of me. I have felt an extreme amount of heart-hurts, and WORRY over the last week or so on a number of subjects. I feel really convicted for many things and I want to make it right! I know God is reading this too so it's a start at least??? God is my Follower. (I need to make that a bumper sticker...If you steal my idea I will hunt you down....just sayin')

First, I would like to say that I am so absolutely proud of you, my followers. You continue to read me even when I'm crazy, down right delusional, or simply stricken by some amazing product that Rox my world. My little madness is somehow interesting enough that you keep coming back for more. What I love about blogging is that over a period of time you can take a sneak peak into someone's life or simply escape from your own for just a few short minutes of reading someone's nonsense. What blogging means to me is simply an escape from the many moments I have waiting on someone else, caring for someone else, or doing things for someone else. I can be as crazy, spontaneous or honest (sorta) as I want to be. I cannot tell you how there are things I want to blog about sometimes but really can't because of who may read them. Here are a few of those titles from which I must refrain to post:

  • "Sure, Let me Drop What I'm doing...Just for You"
  • "Reasons Why You Should Live With Someone FIRST" (love you honey...)
  • "Divorce; Don't worry, It won't kill you!" (this in no way whatsoever refers to my hubby :) 
  • "Family Matters Vol. 1: The Joys of Having Caller ID"
  • "Family Matters Vol. 2:  Why I Don't Answer the Phone When You Call"
  • "Oh, NO she Didn't" - highlighting the joys of having those so-called "friends" 
and finally,

  • "If You Didn't Want Anyone to Know....Don't tell Anyone."
There are so many times that I just wanna call out a friend on something but you just can't and I wanna blog about it soooooooooooooooo bad. So instead, you just talk to someone who doesn't like him/her. Don't be a hater know you do it too. The same goes for family when somebody has just about pushed your last button and you are ready to SNAP! If I blogged about it then I would just feel guilty and convicted later on which would just waste my blogging time and probably make my family crazier than it already is. I have so many families too. Which is good by the way cause they never know if I'm talking about them or not. I'm sneaky that way.

 So, in order to cope with all my random thoughts and get myself focused here is what I did over the weekend:
I canned Salsa all day on Saturday. And made a batch of dill pickle. I have made nearly 3 gallons of salsa which is and I can't stop there. I made one more batch last night and probably one more this week. I got some great tomatoes from Sean's Aunt and Uncle and just that little gesture from them MADE MY WEEKEND.  It was time consuming and just what I needed to clear my head and put my thoughts in the right place. Me, the kitchen, and my Ipod were in such a magical place on Saturday. Meanwhile, GA played all day and completely tore the house apart but I didn't care. We were both in our happy place :) Sean worked all day and came home to 2 happy girls!

-Overall,  I felt like the more worry, hurt, or anxious I felt, God popped in and was right there last week. Which led me to think about many of my blessings. The SAME thing is happening this week! Keep it coming is all I got to say!

~More on Conviction by the weekend! Hope you all have a happy Wednesday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wash me Please.

For those guys who I just found out read my are in fact my closet readers, and this may not interest you. Or, it may be just what you always wanted to hear. Either way...this is some daggone good beauty info and lots of other randomness from my last week or so. 

So, since I just got back from the beach, and I have a mega-awesome tan right now, I want to let you know about some of my summer must-haves for yummy-looking skin. First of all, I am the world's worst for moisturizing. Second, I do it the easy way (in the shower) because I hate to have lotion all over my hands. For years I have been using.....
Oil of Olay In-Shower Body Lotion

This is such a great product and if you put it on right after shaving it gives you some silky smooth awesomeness that no one could dare pass up on your legs (feeling them that is...even if by accident :)

Next to softness is shininess!  I love a sparkly shimmer on my skin during summer. Since you show more skin during summer, this is a great product for adding some Mega-sparkle to your skin tone as well as moisturizing you all over. Meet my new shower BFF for summer.  Also, how can you pass up anything that has diamonds in it? Seriously.

Not only is this a great product, it is down right affordable at the Wal-Mart. Here on the Rox, it's only 3.97 per HUGE bottle which is way cheaper than the Olay as shown above. The Olay runs over $5 and doesn't stretch as far. Both of these products keep you looking moisturized and fresh. If anyone has a coupon for either, send it my way!!!!!

I love me some glossy, sparkling fresh skin I must say. Also, I am a mom who is running tight on time ALL the time and I can't spend hours in the 1 bathroom that we share in the Austin house. So, not only does this provide you with a glistening shower experience, you save time from moisturizing when you get out. Tell that to my face which is really struggling right now from sun-exposure. However, I am requiring a lot less make-up right now....BONUS! I just need to get on the moisturizing train and make sure I do it every day!!!!

Last night was awesome. Some of my favorite things happened.
#1) Dinner guests...Daddy came over for dinner. Complete LOVE. I love having dinner guests. Especially Daddy. We had Teriyaki / Pineapple chicken, corn-on-the-cob, squash casserole, homemade Mac & Cheese, and biscuits. Plenty of carbs for the taking.

#2) Surprise visitors. I love people randomly stopping by. One of the perks of living back "On the Rox." Surprise visitors NEVER happened in Raleighwood. My sissy came by with her precious family and brought me this fab bracelet. I mean I nearly screamed at the thought that football season is close enough that BCBSNC (where sissy works) is handing out party favors supporting Tobacco Road rivals. Most importantly being....the Pack.
 I don't mind paying a co-pay for my insurance since I see they are clearly spending their money wisely for party favors!!!!

#3) Another surprise visit by my dearest Lesley (who has yet to blog regardless of my numerous encouragements). It was so great. Late night front porch catchin' up, laughter, and she helped put GA to bed.

I went to bed feeling so full of joy and thankfulness for those special people in my life. 

Ok so, This was just a little quickie to get you through until Friday. Over half the week is gone and we are ON to the weekend. Praise Jesus for Weekends! Just for fun, I will leave you with some photos I took at the beach that were oh so hideous and yet hilarious at the same time.

"We Interrupt this Marriage for Hunting Season"

How is this even remotely possible?

It's almost Friday!!!!! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Austin Family vs. Krispy Kreme

I cannot tell you all how I am totally hating myself right now. I know by Tuesday all of the calories I consumed over the last week will have seeped into my veins and I won't be able to fit into all the new clothes I just bought. If you by chance are driving down my road or Lochridge development and you see the large girl on the side of the road oooozing white sugary glaze from her pores, that's me. I will probably also need some sort of resuscitation so please do pull over and help a girl out.

How do 6 adults polish off 7 dozen donuts in a mere 5 days? Vacation lasted for 7 but the donuts were all gone by day 5. One night we started out with 2 dozens. And that's B.W. (before Wayne). Then, one night the girls decide to surprise the girls with 2 dozen. Well the guys surprised us with 3 dozen. FACT: Never place this many Austin's that close to the "Hot Sign." Complete madness I tell you. If you are wondering where they all went, let me refer to night #2 which I like to title "Donut Surprise." And here ya go....

  Geez Louise people. Have you ev'a in your life seen such a thing?My body is in pain.

Another one of my favorite nights was Austin/Summers dinner night. One of the best things about my fave vacay spot is gettin' to see my BFF. DOUBLE bonus!!!! And here we are.

OMG! Love her so much! True Story: We bought our babies the same shoes, tank top, and pair of pants on sale from Crazy 8 and didn't even tell each other. Not weird for us AT ALL. Lots of times we buy in 2's anyway for each other. Reagan and GA are the same size and so it makes it really easy. I like to think of it as God's little learning experience for what it would be like to have twins. Might as well take advantage of learning some God lessons while shopping.... Agreed?

What's even better than that is now she has a new little bambino which is perfect company for my nephew. They are just a few months apart and they are both such delicious babies. Here they are now chillin' at Aunt J's house.
L's shirt, "I still live with my parents" must be a hand-me-down from Uncle Sean? LOL 

Anyways, so I just wanted to share some of my favorite moments from our trip. I might not have much time to blog this week because I will probably be focused on losing all my Krispy Kreme fluctuation weight. As of tomorrow, its back to 1350 calories per day + running.  I just hope we don't have any Austin events this week or those calories will probably get blown right out of the water.

 Seriously, I love this kid like no other. He is such a sweetie. And how can you resist the Austin charm he puts on. I told my SIL this weekend. No worries when I'm around. I nearly document his every move on camera.
absolutely precious

How blessed am I?

Seriously, she is the 2nd best thing about being an Austin!!! Love my Sister In Law!

Can't you just picture him saying, "Duh Auntie, what did you think you were gonna see at the aquarium?"

Every time we go on vacay, I just fall more in love with my little girl as she explores new things. I swear no one loves their baby as much as I do.
 On the way home from Myrtle, we took GA to see the Battleship in Wilmington. My nerves were tore up. She was climbing all over everything, and getting real close to the sides, looking over to see the water. Completely crazy I tell you. Not to mention my CrAzY kicks in when I'm in small places. Claustrophobia  ...CHECK!!!!

Some nice little man from the Admissions Dept. at my Alma Mater took this photo for us. A whole slew of MC girls cheered and clapped when they saw my Onyx. It was magical.

Let's all pause for a moment of silence in honor of the onyx BLING :) 

Also so sexy from the side.
 And moving on to GA's last adventure on the Battleship. Doesn't she look like a natural? Maybe she will be a captain, pilot, or an astronaut? Well, this weekend she told Ms. Angela she wanted to be a rock star at night and a nurse during the day. Whatever she wants to be...I don't care. I just feel so blessed that she has the Austin's (all of them) who love her and support her even though she doesn't bear their last name.

Needless to say, priceless family vacation..(thank to the inlaws ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

3 Days of Pickle

Three Days of making pickle and I don't even eat the stuff. However, it does make for some bomb diggity chicken salad  (or my family lied at the beach). Yes mam...chicken salad. Delish. This is the only form in which I consume mayonnaise.

Last week I had my first session of canning pickles since I was about 10 at my grandmas house. One of my BFF's also just recently blogged about this same here event. Her blog prolly better and I know this. She has got mad blogging skills right? And her hubby can thrown down on helping with some canning procedures.Double Bonus.

Moving on to chapters 1-3 of my canning adventures.

First, I didn't even want anyone to know that I was making pickle in case I some how royally screwed it up. I had my mom and my M.I.L on backup in case mine was a complete BUST. Not at all hard to do considering I had to do a training last week, I  was sick, I had to do claims processing, and pack for three to da beach all in the same 3 days I needed to bathe and preserve these babies. So here we are...

Chapter 1- Wash and Soak - this takes foreva....

This strainer is an excellent contraption. It can extend its arms to stretch out over the sink. Way better than the round kind you have to sit in the sink. PERFECT for rinsing.

Use a soft vegetable brush to help get off all the stuck-on dirt. This one was given to me by my fave sister-in-law. :) 

Here is the pickling lime I used. The recipe is actually on the back of the package too

This looked weird and the lime can get all over everything if you are not careful.

All the lime sinks to the bottom and I was like, "whatev...I don't even know if it's even doing the job."

After cleaning and cutting up your pickle you have to soak in lime water. I let mine soak over night until the next morning when I got up. The lime makes them crispy and firm. Just right for picklin.'

Moving on to chapter 2:

The next morning, I discarded the lime water and washed the pickles 3-4 times to remove the lime. Afterwards, I covered the pickles with ice in my sink (which was super really clean by the way) all day. I got home at 8:45 that night before I  began making the syrup for their little spa day.
super clean sink + ice
That night when I got home I had to make the syrup for their day 2 soak. Fun stuff I tell you. Especially when I had been at work for about 12 straight hours that day. Fun. Fun. Fun.
Vinegar, sugar, pickling spice, + salt. This looks so interesting. You can put the pickling spice in cheesecloth but I didn't have any. So its just floating around in there. You have to bring the mixture to a boil and then add the cucumber to soak overnight.
don't they look so refreshing and crispy?

At this point I thought maybe I didn't have enough syrup for all the cucumber. A foreshadowing here.
 I let them soak overnight until about 8:00 pm the next day.

Day 3: Cucumber Spa Day: I started again late on day 3. The pickles are already in the syrup. They just need to be boiled for 45 minutes in the syrup.  Then, I packed the jars 3/4 full with the hot pickle. You have to leave room for the hot syrup plus 1 inch of head-space around the base of the rim. Then, place the lids on and screw the rings on real tight. 

I used a can strainer to remove most of the pickling spice when pouring in the syrup. Good Lawd it was messy! Which is why I lost a little extra syrup.
I also used a boiling water bath to make sure that the lids sealed. My canning class totally freaked me out about botulism and bacteria if you don't get the internal temperature hot enough also. I boiled them submersed in water for 10 minutes. Some people skip this step but I don't play when it comes to food. If there is any question, I won't eat it and I don't want to waste my efforts!
I also got to use my mega fabulous Paula Deen stock pot we got for a wedding gift. perfect for canning and so trendy in my kitchen!

The new "bump" must have really helped because all my lids sealed woohoooo. Gives a new meaning to the canning term "head-space" don't ya think???
My only downfall was 4 pint sized jars that didn't have enough syrup to put in the jars. Next time I will not use quite as much cucumber or I will pay closer attention to how much I have. But, I did have enough to make chicken salad for the beach...BONUS. Overall, a first A+ pickling experience for Moi. :) 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Impulse Shopper

Well ladies and gentleman, this week I came down with some nasty infection and my Doctor hooked a Sista up with an antibiotic and a few other necessities. So, while strolling through the Rite Aid waiting for my 15-minutes-or-less-prescription I had some interesting fun with items that are an absolute must for your next impromptu shopping trip at the pharmacy.
Much needed pharmaceuticals :)
 Disclaimer: Let me just say that the whole "15-minute prescription guarantee" is in fact a hoax. It must be 15 minutes per medication which put me at nearly 45 minutes of strolling around up in the Rite-Aid. So kudos to you Rite-Aid with your retail fanciness and your plot to divulge into the Austin household bank account with all my completely insane impulse purchases while you take yo' sweet time hookin' a sister up with her pharmaceuticals (I actually just spelled that without Spell Check help which is simply amazing. Go Me.)
FAIL: 15 minutes or less? That's crap.
I sure was getting antsy and I was down right hungry since all I had time for was a Diet Coke up til' then.  But, instead of standing their stomping my bronze peep-toes (my fave by the way), I decided to explore the aisles. Big Bonus found.

Remarkably, I stumbled upon a treasure I have been wanting to try since the Strap-perfect came out. And just so you know, I am convinced that somehow the makers of the Strap Perfect stole the idea from me. I have always pinned my bra straps back with a hair barrette or safety pins in order to hide straps or simply give me a little push North. Anyways, I guess I missed the boat on that business pursuit.

Now for the Goods:  

Check out my most recent hair adventure. BUMPITS 
I am not even kidding. Complete baller status for your hair girlies.  In fact, I love them so much I am going to try them again tomorrow. You must click on the link above to hear the video on the home screen. I love the lady who screams because her hair is "so-last-year." It sounds like a horror film. Oh the fun.

I will admit that my hair is not fab here lately because I've had the same boring, plain Jane cut for years now. NOT my hair girls' fault. I've been trying to let it grow with sporadic trims here and there.  However, I do love BIG hair and putting it up in a big Do'. And in Roxboro, you can find lotsa ladies sportin' the huge hair do's.  You know those ladies with the big car, big purse, and the big HAIR. Depleting the ozone layer with that much hair spray on a daily basis is unnecessary. Just saying.

 Luckily, my hair is very versatile and can do just a bout anything with it. It holds curl, its shiny, its thick, I can straighten it or leave it wet and curly and still look decent. It is one of my best traits for sure. I ain't so blessed in other areas. weight for instance. That's a whole other tangent I won't discuss right now. It will kill my Bumpits hair buzz.

Anywho, I need to get a completely different cut or do color or something. I'm just waitin' til summers over. I only color my hair in the fall because it grows too fast and then I can do dark colors similar to my own natural hair. I am taking vitamins for my hair right now which have really jump started growth again + shine. So, when I ran across these Bumpits in the RA on Wednesday, I thought to myself, "hmmmm....maybe this will at least spice up my pony a little" since I'm practically wearing my hair up all the time right now anyway cause it's so freakin' hot in NC right now. Check out the handi-work. It ain't real easy girls. Don't be judgmental either. It was only round 1.
 So, now I'm practicing every day. I really like my pony too. Major hair transformation complete.Crisis averted. Impulse purchase totally worth it.