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June 2009

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Jun. 19th, 2009

Achtung!

how does my garden grow?

5 tomato plants
4 pumpkin plants (courtesy of Wendy, who saved her seeds for me)
3 $15 cantaloupe plants (I have a post about the origins of these seeds ... )
5 "Pride of Wisconsin" cantaoupe plants
5 cucumber plants
2 big rectangle planters of carrots
3 ruffly, red lettuce
3 round, ruffly red and green lettuce
some swiss chard, still in infancy
some arugula, ditto
4 red pepper plants
4 yellow pepper plants
1 strawberry plant (have to feed the son)
oregano
chives
cinnamon basil
6 onion plants ... although, maybe it's just 6 onions, growing?
several trays of lovely flowers from bulbs
some cacti
some succulents
dirt
tomato cages
happiness.

May. 10th, 2009

Mother's Day

After spending a frenetic 2 hours getting ready for a fabulousss...ly slow lovely brunch with the 4 and 2 year olds, I have a few thoughts on what would make a truly great Mother's Day.

Top of the list is peace and quiet. I love my family, don't get me wrong - but they are always there; we're always together. Work doesn't count, because it's a little bit of a guilty pleasure ,in that you're legitimately avoiding your family to gain something (cash) then those two-three hours after work are filled with 'how was your day,' 'eat your peas' and 'get in the bathtub! don't forget to brush your teeth ...' before you have a couple hours of time that needs to be spent bonding with one's spouse. So after weeks of that on end, just a few hours alone would be great.

Nearly as important is a maid. I clean all week long. At least do one load of laundry a night, dishes, tables occasionally the floors (today, even cleaned the windows.) Really, I don't want "Thanks." Nope, that gets me nothin'. I'd much rather have someone else to do it for me, even if it's just one day. Better yet - spouse just steps up and does it all, even if it's for just one day. Kitchen counters, cabinets, floors, dishes, stove, rugs. Household floors and rugs. Kitchen table, windows inside and out. Bathrooms - shower, tub, floor, sinks, mirrors, rugs and toilets. CHange the spare bed, change the kids' beds, change the sheets on our bed (note to self ...) ... water the plants, dust if you feel like it (not high on my priority list) and maybe take the trash and recycling out too. Not that he doesn't do some of that already - he does, regularly, even. But for one day I'd like to see someone else do it all top to bottom and let me go do my thang ...

cafe with a book
walk in the park
hike
shopping ... oh wait, no shopping on Sunday in Germany =)

a close third would be a neato craft fromthe kiddos. I love that stuff. When they are older, I'll ask for them to be on their best behavior all day, we'll see how that works.

in the meantime, hubby is golfing & the kids are in bed (one is napping, the other just there.) It's quiet for now...so I think I'll go make the bed.

Apr. 5th, 2009

Coco Beach

Have I got class!

I'm taking a German class - it's basic, grammar etc. German - and it's going pretty well. Except for the fact that I need to hit the memorization hard - my vocabulary of nouns is too small!

What's nice is with my English background I have something to compare the various cases and tenses to, and when I 'get it' it's a lot easier for me. For example, we learned the 'dativ' case last Thursday ... which I think translates into the 'prepositional phrase'. Hey, I'm pretty good at English and all, but a requireent to remember all the terms isn't part of that :) Even better was when she was doing the sentence diagramming (German style) I knew exactly how that would lok in an Englush-diagrammed sentence.

For example:



only we were using sentences such as

Die flasche | ist
\
\ unter den tische

Very exciting. : P

****

My class is very interesting in general, though. We share no common language - you must realize that most people taking a host-nation language are learning it because they want to become citizens or at least live there for a while. We have two Polish women, a Romanian woman, a Hungarian man, girl from THailand, a girl from Portugal, an Italian couple, three other American men - one with his Moldovian wife, and my American self. Of all of us, only 3 people, besides the Americans, speak English. Including the teacher. It's a great situation, forces us to learn and speak the language.

On my way home Thursday night, Achari - the Thai girl - and I rode our bikes home (until we turned off) and had a great conversation, in German, about our families and why we were here. It was very cool. It was cute when she mentioned her little daughter (Tochter) then corrected herself with Schwester (sister) and I tried to ask her if she'd ever eaten at the Thai restaurant in town. :)

Granted we both spoke very slowly, but we communicated.

Very cool.
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Mar. 22nd, 2009

snail

... almost forgot

Getting a head start on the cantaloupes this year.  Remember the $15 cantaloupe?  Well, I planted the seeds and had a half-dozen softball sized 'loupes by the time the frost killed them.  So this year, I've planted the remaining 6 seeds EARLY!  We'll see how they go.

ALso went crazy at seedsavers.com and have onions, carrots, another melon, two types of tomatoes, red peppers, yellow peppers and cucumbers, and something called strawberry spinach which has the leaves and a strawberry-looking fruit that is also edible.  I figure what the heck, give the kids something else to taste.  :)  I also have a home canning kit coming with my friend's household goods in June.  :)  All for that.

Totally love growing things ... had my aunt's whole backyardto do with what I pleased in Michigan ... I edged the entire yard about 2 feet, and we had everything from hosta to roses to petunias to raspberries to pole beans to you name it, we had it.  Loved growing things.  Still do.  My daughter made me help her plant her seeds from an apple she ate.  We have two seedlings poking up;  we'll see how many apple trees grow from them.  I'll have to find somewhere to put them here!!!

It's all good.  I love this growing stuff. 
Jazzy Humanoid

cabbage soup

So I'm making cabbage soup, chopping me some cabbage, and little fingers reach up - of course right while I"m choppin' EEK - and grab some cabbage.  "MM, mama, this is good!  It's sweet, like fruit!" says the girl child. 

Sweet?  Smels sulfury, bleck.  So I taste, sure enough sweet.  Maybe not like fruit but definitely sweet.  Then the sulfury taste gets me, and I'm scrambling for SOMETHING to rid that from my mouth ... thank goodness for the other veggies. 

But hell, if the kiddo likes more raw veggies, I'm all for it.  She did that with cauliflower too.  Not sure where this child came from - must be the papa genes.

...

So he asks for cabbage soup.  You must first understand that his definition of cabbage soup comes from a memory of someone pre-surgery losing fat to keep him or herself safe in the O-R.  Cabbage and broth. 

Well, while I"m all for losing fat - can you sing me halelujah? - I'm not about the 'bag and broth.  So my cabbage soup looks like vegetable soup, with a white cabbabe majority and a colorful melting pot minority of peppers, carrots, green beans, and whatever other vegetables might be sitting around, looking guilty.  The first time, he was suspicious.  Had to pull out a nutrition guide to prove this was a fat-free soup. 

He believed.  
He ate.
He was content.

He wanted this for a week.  Well, I need a little more - hence the garbanzos.  I find out, 6 months later, he's not quite into chick-peas as we all thought.  So this time it's pintos.  He's all for the pintos, little mexicali introduction there  So today's is a little sassy, stewey, tasty cabbagey.

...

bout 1/3 cabbage, cut into little thin slices (think those narrow egg noodles)
2 small onions, sliced long and half-moon
3 carrots, cut into 1/2, 1/2 again, then sliced ... ok, that means dreiecks.  /_\  :)
Handful of snow pea pods that were hanging out in the fridge, chopped
spoon o' garlic
handful green beans, chopped
one red and one yellow pepper, chopped (sans a few slices that went to the boy child)  (love these veggie-crzy kids!)
think that's it ...
about 6-8 cups vegetable broth
dash shoyu (soy sauce to you haoles)
1 T sesame oil
1 T butter 'cause it's good
dash Maggi
parsley
salt and pepper
cayenne 'cause the spice heats up your bod
1/3 cup barley
1 can pinto beans, rinsed

I sauted the onions and cabbage in the butter and oil, then added the carrots for a while with a cup of the broth until it was tender.  Then I dumped everything else in and ooked it for a while.

I've found that sauteing the cabbage first gives it a better flavor and texture - I choped it into squares the first time I et it, but sauted (whatever shape) it really makes me think I'm eating thick egg noodles.  I can get past that I"m eating cabbage.  Strange but true ...

I'm a big fan of cayenne.  Holdover from growing up; my bother eats it for breakfast.  The nice spice is supposed to help boost the metabolism, too - also a big fan of this.  

Note:   oolong tea has that effect too - gives your metabolism a 10% boost for about 10-12 hours after drinking a cup; green tea has a similar effect, but only a 4% boost for like 4-6 hours

But the soup is filling, healthy and the more veggies the merrier!  Beans add a nie protein and flavor, the barley gives your teeth something interesting to work with.  I've used leftover veggies from the night before (use a lot of Calif. mix) or whatever is hanging out.  I'll generally use a can of stewed tomatoes too, but he is watching his sodium too and has pointed out to me many times that there is a lot of sodium in canned tomatoes.  I told him too bad in normal, everyday cooking; but didn't want to upset him on the request food  :) 

Yummy stuff!  Here's to no fat!

Mar. 21st, 2009

Achtung!

Third Time's the Charm

So now, it's been 3 times up on the mountain ... on that fantastically oblong wax-bottom girl called Burton.  I am LOVING it.

Take 2 was a manic snow-dumping day-off Tuesday with the husband.  By snow-dumping I mean that it was take two of a 3-day dump, broken up by one free Sunday-Monday combination of sunshine and chill.  (followed by 4 more days, ending with about 4 feet of snow on the valley floor and loads of lovely fluff on top!)

But I digress.  The take-2 went well enough, slowely, scaredly - I was still learning the turns and the crazy snow was in my face!  Can't see with the yellow goggles, can't see through thewhite snow otherwise.  I sat, pouted, slid down and drank gluhwein.  Gluhwein helped.  Eventually made it down to the valley, grumbled at the hubby a little (poor sport, especially taking lessons from the man-at-hand) but all in all, was a gorgeous day.  Wasn't even too fazed when we realized everyone else at work got a 'snow day' while we took leave! ! 

The following weekend, I think, we had a break from the downward dumping.  Good for the snowplows.  Friends came down, following the other skiiers, and the babysitter wandered over, and we hi the slopes for Take 3.

I rocked Take 3.  I can turn edge-to-edge, I can go swooshy back and forth, and I only tumped backwards two or three times.  (yes, thanks to the hubby for insisting on the helmet!)  This is third time up, folks.  I am the boss.  I will ignore the painful up, down, up, down trek dwn the long and winding road, because afterwards I rocked it again. 

Along with learning I can snowboard like nobody's business, we learned that skiing is technical and snowboarding is balance.  Friend T decided he was done trying to force-learn skiing.  They might be sold soon, or perhaps he'll take that lesson.  But he quickly went back to the truck for his board.  :)

Love it.  Now we're gazing at the recently re-sprinkled mountains (and the gray, melted-snow streets) and wondering what the powder is like today, what the babystter would cost tomorrow ...

in the meantime, I'm going to sleep.
roosters

hmmm

What a nice Friday night!  One Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier for dinner (with steak and veggies) one lovely Murphy's black and tan at the Local Cure bar (plus two sides of tequila) for dessert. 

Perfect mix, great timing, the night was FUNNY.

The only downside to that much humor, and let me tell you it was a rollicking good time, reminded me of life pre-kiddos! but the downside was waking at 3am to my poor girlchild needing a complete bed overhaul and shower.  Pickled brain=forgotton pullup.  ;)  Poor baby

Funny, tho, I'm real good at the quick changes.  Had a bedroom next to my little bro and every time he'd wake up wet in the night, well proximity and all.  But back then, I was meaner (or just valued my sleep more!) and put down a towel.  Now I change the bed.  Maybe all that practice ... :)

The point was ... um ... oh, yeah, loving the tequila, the murphy's, tne paulaner - the right mix and loopy was a happy camper.  Good night out.

Feb. 15th, 2009

Obama-money.com

Got a comment on a post with a link to the aforementioned site, saying you'll get $ if you make less than 120k/year.

Being a little suspicious of free money, I googled the site and saw three pages with the site referenced - all of them were blog posts (comments) with the same wording, different amounts of money.  I'd guess the site isn't a good one to go to ;)  Probably not safe.


If you get a post / comment with that site, delete it is my recommendation.

... as I'm typing this, my son is running back and forth from his room to the kitchen and back, shaking his sippy cup.  Here he comes again.  :)  He stripped down today and put on his spongebob jammies.  Monkey.
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Feb. 8th, 2009

FuzziBunz cloth diapers

Yep, break from the normal, everyday post for a gratuituous (did I spell that right?) post about a wonderful contest!

http://makingmyamericandream.blogspot.com/2009/01/fuzzi-bunz-giveaway.html?showComment=1234121340000#c9207096003899987674

Chance to win two free fuzzubunz diapers from "Piece of Me" at makingmyamericandream.blogspot.com

I read up on the fuzzibunz and they seem pretty cool - http://www.fuzzibunz.com/new_to_cloth.php

I would have done cloth, but there wasn't the option for a service for the girl (and the man said no washing by him!) and it wasn't cost-effective for the boychild (ditto from the man - hey, he stayed home with them, gets a voting share.)  But if I can save some landfills for the lastyear or so, I"m there.
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frog flashlight

my little dude has an inherited little frog-shaped flashlight. it ribbits when you push a button on its head, its eyes flash red, and it's mouth is the flashlight. he just shined it all over my hand in some bizarre 2-year-old ritual before running off to join his big sister by the french doors, with their bedroom blankets.

I remember, vaguely, things I did and said, people I knew when I was 4, 5, 6 and so on ... but I can't remember what I thought about, the things I imagined - I wish I could. I wonder what goes on in those two little heads, sometimes. I know for sure their faces are way more expressive - it's incredible watching my daughter's little round, pale face (It's been more than a year since Hawaii - we're all pale now!) - the eyes widen, the eyebrows quirk up, a little turn up of her mouth or a quick little grin. Him, with his slightly darkening teeth (showed up a couple weeks ago, FYI the dentist says it could have been from trauma a year ago!) but his face, usually limited to a couple big expressions - giant grin, eyes squinty with laughter or mouth open, eyes squinty with the effort of crying LOL.

I remember this stage from big sister, but somehow the boy does it more dramatically and puts a lot more effort into it.
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