24 January 2009

An Afternoon at the Pool

Some friends invited us to join them at an embassy pool yesterday afternoon. We accepted the invitation and I tried to hang up the phone before I screamed and jumped up and down out of excitement (okay, not really). But I could have... HIGH was my level of happiness to get a break from daily life.

A couple years ago there was a local hotel with a club that we joined. We could swim, lounge on chairs and relax in the gorgeous garden for a break from the daily grind. Not long after we joined, they banned women from the pool. Really. Yea... we got our money back on that one, but my bitterness remains.

Anyway, we had such a nice time yesterday.
We didn't get any shots of him in the water, but he still loves it!! (and the camera).

What exactly is IN that BELLY??

Maybe a little pool water from all his splashing around and a LOT of... POTATO CHIPS!!

Look, he's offering to share with you!!

He sat on the table with his hand (and sometimes his head) buried in that bag for at least thirty minutes. I guess he loves potato chips. Who can blame him... I mean, he is my son, his Grammi's grandson, his Poppi's grandson, his Auntie's nephew, and his great-grandma's great-grandson (just to mention a few).


20 January 2009

Feeling Worlds Away

Sitting in my neighbor's house watching the inauguration on satellite television through the BBC, I am feeling worlds away from that beautiful, green, clean, cold city in the U.S.

I am happy to see this day go down in history.

13 January 2009

Neighborhood Wedding

The other day, our neighbors were having a wedding. It was a BIG wedding. We were very excited when the groom and his father came to our gate to invite us to the afternoon event.

This is the (usually) empty square behind our house... I have never seen it so full of cars.

This is our car. The silver one. Under the tree. Surrounded by other cars. Any suggestions?

We went as a family for about 20 meters until we split up (as is customary). Mike entered a huge outdoor tent with lots of men and I was escorted into the house where all the women and children were. After sitting awkwardly for a few moments, I was served a plate of food and began chatting with a new friend. I was happy to have found a lovely lady who spoke English and was feeling a big smug about my ability to pull chicken off the bone and eat it using no utensils and only my right hand. (Believe me, I have come a long way from my boneless-skinless-meat-eating-childhood to be able to pull off that feat!)

Later, there was music coming from out back and I had finished my meal so I decided it would be a good time to hunt down my son that was carried off by a stranger (also customary). I walked through another room and stepped out into the back courtyard. And boy was I taken by surprise!!

I had no idea there were this many women back there! I had no idea there was ANOTHER huge tent set up and I had no idea how this unexpected blast of color would literally take my breath away! I'm certain a grin spread across my face as I stepped into the sea of coral and seafoam, golden jewelry and black eyeliner... reaching down one aisle of swaying women to lift my son into my arms.

We wove our way to the back of the crowd where I could stand and grin at the women without being stared back at. The lady-singer sounded beautiful (although I never did manage to locate her amongst the crowd in the front). At one point the groom and his father appeared and happily braved the sea of estrogen to be swallowed up into the color wave.

I managed to snap a few pictures with my boy balanced on my hip before a young lady walked up to me to say "No picturing please."
"No picturing please."
"Oh, okay, sorry..."

After awhile longer with that stupid grin on my face we wove our way back out to the front of the house. We met Mike (who didn't have nearly as an exciting time as we did!) and walked the 20 meters back home across the square.

I don't think I'll forget that feeling of being swallowed up in color for a long time... these women are truly special.

08 January 2009

Smart People Can Say Silly Things

I like George W. I really do. And who can blame the man for having some blunders. I mean, what kind of stuff would they have on you if everything you ever uttered was written down for eight years straight. I know they'd have some pretty dumb stuff on me.

I read a funny article on the BBC that lists some blunders of the president's.

A couple of my favorites are:

"There's an old saying in Tennessee - I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee - that says, fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."

"Information is moving. You know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it's also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets."


07 January 2009

Now That's Dedication

My very dedicated husband rose out of bed yesterday morning at 4am to watch a very jumpy live stream of OSU vs. Texas. It was almost like watching it on a real TV... um, just kidding. It's more like what it was... a skipp-y, fuzzy teeny picture on a computer screen sitting in the tiny office while Mike 'relaxes' in his office chair. I watched a little, but maybe my love of football is more about being around people, sitting on comfortable furniture (and not the plastic stool I drug in the teeny office) and eating balls of peanut butter dipped in chocolate, and potato chips, and cheese ball, and shredded chicken sandwiches and baby carrots dipped in ranch dressing, and seven layer mexican bean dip with nachos and... wait... is this blog supposed to be about food? What was I talking about before...?

Oh yeah. My husband. Right. He's such a loyal fan.

04 January 2009

Market Day

Today was market day. That means I give Mike a list of fruits and veggies and he reluctantly goes shopping at the big open market. He hates going but he seems happy enough coming back. Maybe it's cause our current vegetable man gives us nice produce, doesn't cheat us, and always serves him a cup of coffee while he chooses, weighs, and bags all our loot. Culturally, men do the shopping. It's really a man's world, and that REALLY applies in the vegetable market. Although I'm pretty sure most men don't get extensive lists from their wives. Anyway...
Today we purchased:

-3 kilos tomatoes (The price of tomatoes really fluctuates. Right now they're cheap, but in spring or summer they could cost four or five times the amount!)
-1 kilo bananas (we go through tons of bananas! I had another kilo in the fridge already)
-1 head lettuce (a winter treat!)
-1/2 kilo zucchini (the perfect vegetable to hide in any dish!)
-limes for 2 pounds (about $1)
-1 kilo potatoes
-1 kilo onions (My eyes HATE me when I peel the purple ones, so we pay a little more for the peeled, white variety)
-1 kilo cucumbers (they are so fragrant... like the Victoria's Secret lotion that was all the rage back in middle school...)
-1 kilo green beans (another winter treat!)
-a dozen oranges
-two bundles arugula (a cousin of spinach)
-1/2 kilo sweet potatoes (M hates these, but I love them, and hope H will eat some too.)
-1 kilo carrots
-1 bunch grapes
-2 apples

That adds up to over 10 kilos of produce! (22 lbs!). And we'll eat all this in less than two weeks. Yikes! That is a large consumption of (mostly) locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables! Gotta love that!

So, after I took this colorful photo, I spent a good chunk of my afternoon up to my elbows in color... cleaning, rinsing, drying, chopping, boiling, peeling, slicing, dicing, bagging, sauteing, straining, boxing, blanching, ice-bathing, freezing, pre-preparing, and refrigerating. All the while, watching a TV show on my computer, preparing tuna tettrazini for dinner (and there ain't no canned cream-of-mushroom soup here, honey!), doing a thousand dishes and trying not to step on my son.

Ugh. I'm tired.

02 January 2009

Lint Roller

As I was making Christmas preparations a couple weeks ago... I looked at my living room rug and thought "yuk!" It needed cleaned. So, I did what anyone would do (without a vacuum) and I got out the lint roller.

And I rolled.

And I rolled.

And I rolled.

And I rolled.

Twenty-six sheets of lint roller were rolled.

Then my son rolled.

Then he put his head on the newly cleaned rug and smiled back at me. He likes to do this. I call it 'yoga baby.'