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!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

the R & R that wasn't...

It will not go down in the books as all that restful or relaxing.  But it is drawing to a close.  About a day and a half to run around finishing up everything…including a late night visit to Lense Crafters for me - not good planning that one!

The oldest is all settled in his fabulous new school.  Hurray!  The General that runs the place used to work with our kind of people and even in our current post so has taken a special interest in the oldest - hope it is a good interest and not an 'I am watching you!' interest.  And had a golden retriever in his office, so that is a win in my book.

Life back at home is gearing up to be busy busy - the middle one is going to have a happy year, I can tell already, the youngest is hoping to talk every single Girl Scout into a trip to Switzerland and my music career, for which I make not a dime, is chugging along.  I got this cryptic email just this morning "Can Mozart Sunday?  Easy." Um, yes?  I think?  Also this gem from my piano teacher 'please buy and bring back this that and the other' (this, that and the other, all being really really hard piano pieces) so I write back, 'Um, do I need to buy and bring back anything for my lessons?' thinking she was using me as her sheet music mule…her response?  "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA those are for you" Super?  I think?

I am worried about how different life is going to feel without a few of my best pals.  Three ladies all up and left me.  As my husband pointed out, I might be too busy to sit around weeping….there is talk of more work on a book!  A Montessori book - which is totally, absolutely, my thing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

more fun please!

Looking back through all our pictures, we used to have a lot more fun overseas.  Where we are now is hard.  Hard to live on a compound.  Hard to go out over the half the year because it is freezing.  Hard to deal with the metro.  Lots of hard people.  Just hard.

So for bidding this time around - after the whole 'is the school any good?' and 'will they eat our dog and how long is the quarantine?' We are looking for places with a higher fun factor.