Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I know a woman here who is an excellent hostess.  Whenever I go to her house I feel so welcome.  She is an expert.  I am stealing her cute spoon idea just in time for my first tea party of the school year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

lots of crafty

I heard a rumor my new heavy super duty transformer arrived in the mail today - so…

….a small new baby sized quilt.  Which needs to be made in a hurry before the baby and mama come back through Moscow on their way to post.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

someone told me I was boring..

Okay, so they told me talking about cooking on a blog was boring.  But how is that cooking thing going?  Well, I have confirmed I hate braised or shredded meat unless it is served in a taco of some kind…and my kids still don't eat that much variety wise.  Seven new meals again this week - so fingers crossed one will please everyone!

Someone did actually tell me that organized people make them uncomfortable.  I don't know what to make of that.  I am not sure if the woman meant it as an insult or not?  I guess I probably seem a touch more organized than I really ever feel - this is our 3rd year at post, our 6th year in serious winter.  I know come late August, it is time to try on the snow suits and boots and look around for mittens.  We have been outfitted to the nines ready for winter for a couple of weeks now.  I know it's coming and I don't want to be that woman asking around to borrow snow clothes.  Also ice skates people - get them.  They do it for gym here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

ramping it up

Getting the crafting in gear…this is an Acer cardigan for me on the needles.  Now I am in two weekly knitting groups, so I expect things to be flying off the needles.  Or something…also winter is coming.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

a kick in my hand knit pants

My best knitting pal in Moscow moved this summer…I may had actually shed a tear or two.  But low and behold a mom from school, who I knew was a neighbor of sorts to my pal, got in touch and invited me over for knitting with her friends.

For about the last 7 years I have knit with women who are only okay at their craft (with one self taught exception in KL). In Beijing I totally lucked out.  I hooked up with Grace pretty soon after we arrived and we knit through thick and thin for 2 1/2 years.  Through gestational diabetes and childbirth, antics of our assorted children, ayi drama, hospitalizations, Beijing traffic and trips to wild markets.  I also became a Master Knitter (yes, it's a thing) while in Beijing and Grace still kicked my knitting butt.  She also had a much larger yarn budget which helped her case, but whatever.  Every week at Starbucks she would pull out something fantastic.

These woman put Grace to shame.  They were all Dutch.  Three of them brought their labradors to knitting.  They drank a lot of sweetened tea and pastries.  Not one said, in English at least, a word about sugar and the gym.  Each one in turn started pulling out her latest FO's and Wow O Wow.  I have found my tribe and it turns out, they are Dutch.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A little Moscow adventure

So the cooking project has been derailed by illness.  Boo.  Oh well, I can get back on that horse again in a couple of days.  In the meantime I had an adventure today!

I ordered some complicated glasses about 4 weeks ago.  No calls telling me they were ready nor any calls from random Russians who might actually be trying to tell me the glasses were ready.  So today I reached the limit on blindness and decided to get someone to call and see if my glasses were ready.  So I headed to the commissary because of course that's what you do.  Actually, all my contacts are in the commissary.  Thanks to my oldest working there, they go out of their way to hook me up.  So someone calls and no answer.

So I decided to hike to the store….where I discovered it was gone.  Empty.  Electric lines dangling from the ceiling.  These complicated glasses cost around $800 USD.  I felt faint.   But then I noticed a little map photocopied and put on the door.  With penciled directions.  Surely this must be their new location.  So I bravely set up with a photo on my phone of said map.  I find the shop - but gee, the logo looks sort of different.

I hand the woman my $$$ receipt.  She looks at it and shakes her head.  I remember my days at the River Garden Management desk and start speaking English a little too loudly "What?!  But the map to THIS shop was on the door?!"  Then out pops the head lady who speaks English beautifully and draws me a map to the new location of the shop.  She also tells me I paid way too much and she loves Canada.  Apparently when I get worked up I sound Canadian?  I went with it.

Luckily the map was real and I found the new location of the shop - and the same lovely woman who sold me the glasses was even there.  They let me use their washroom and she clued me in to why they had to move - a high end grocery that I love was taking over the old shop.  Fabulous news.

My Russian adventures always, always have a kind Russian helping me in them.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

something to do with myself

So I have a thing for a woman named Jenny.  She wrote this book.  She also has a wildly popular blog. Her new book is a bit of a challenge or inspiration for those of us with kids, busy lives and/or picky eaters.

So without further ado, this is night one in the cook something new for 30 days.  Or almost 30 days, I still plan to make pizza every single Friday night, but…maybe we will put something new on it!

Tonights creation is…beef ragu from an old copy of Everyday Food.  So far the house smells great, we'll see how it scores on the worksheet.  Yes, there are worksheets for this challenge.  And my kids get to give each new meal a grade.  Hopefully I will be a C or above student!