Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
It's Saturday night. The weekend is only half over. So far this weekend has seen a pied crow with an apparently broken wing, the return (yet again) of Squirtle the Bell's Hingeback Tortoise, several lizards, a white tree frog with orange feet, two millipedes, a brownish tree frog with red feet, assorted bugs, a blue headed agama, and last but not least, the African pygmy hedgehog currently eating a cricket in my kitchen. Thankfully there have been no spiders or snakes, yet.
I am not sure why my kids spend so much time watching Animal Planet or NatGeo Wild. They are far more entertaining, and often more terrifying than anything I've yet seen on either channel. Currently the boys are watching Austin Stevens chase hyenas around Africa. I have no idea why, and it seems like a spectacularly bad idea to me, but the boys seem to be into it.
Colin wants to have an animal TV show when he an adult. Considering what my daily life looks like I am betting he could just make that happen. He has a plan. He will go to the Coast Guard academy getting his degree in biological-environmental sciences. This part of the plan may or may not be heavily influenced by Dad. Then after he serves his time as an officer he will return to college to get his masters in herpetology, then he figures he should be ready for his own television show.
Update on assorted animals: The pied crow did not have a broken wing. We think possibly one of the guards had thrown a rock at him, and he was stunned, but not really hurt. Dave was able to walk right up to the bird and pick him up. We took him to the wildlife center but when David opened the basket it simply flew away. David was pretty surprised. Most of the lizards, both frogs, and the millipedes were released unharmed. A couple of lizards did become snake food because snakes need to eat too. The hedgehog will be released before bedtime even if I have to do it myself. Squirtle has yet again taken up residence in the large konde, oh yay. Sarcasm intended. I am sure that tomorrow will bring more animals. At least my life is rarely boring.
I spoke too soon. While I was editing pictures for this post the cry went up "SNAKE!!" and now all the boys, including David, are outside with the guard looking for a snake, in the garden, in the dark, in Malawi. This seems like an even worse idea than chasing hyenas around Africa but there you have it, a future Animal Planet star in the making. I really hope they DON'T find it. Nope, my life is rarely boring.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I wasn't feeling particularly thankful for much when I woke up this morning. In fact I was feeling down right grumpy. As I sat and drank my coffee I mulled over all the reasons I wasn't feeling quite in the mood for Thanksgiving.
- We have had no hot water since I returned from my trip to Kenya last week. The last hot shower I had was in Nairobi. On Friday. Five days of taking "camp baths" isn't making me too cheery. I probably don't smell great either. Deodorant and perfume only go so far. Late today the water heater was pronounced "fixed" (again) but I will believe it when I step into a piping hot shower (hopefully) later tonight.
- We don't have a turkey for Thanksgiving tomorrow. This is my first ever Thanksgiving without turkey. What is Thanksgiving without Turkey? They don't call it Turkey Day for nothing. But even I draw then line at $70+ for a turkey. For that price I want lobster with champagne and I don't want to cook it. Or do dishes either. We are having chicken instead. Chicken Day. Doesn't quite have the proper ring does it?
- My kids have school all week, including tomorrow. School on Thanksgiving. That's just wrong. They will be playing hooky. Sorry school, they are skipping you tomorrow.
- I am missing my family. Thanksgiving is the day we always get together as an extended family. Uncles and Aunts and Cousins. Fried turkey and baked turkey and spiral sliced ham. Dressing and giblet gravy. Side dishes and desserts by the dozen. Chaos and noise and laughter and long games of washers. All of it is only an ocean away.
- And my biggest reason I wasn't feeling it this morning is this is our first Thanksgiving without Dakota. It has been almost a year since he left home for bootcamp, but I still miss him everyday. Tomorrow perhaps most of all. It feels as if there is a hole in our family.
- First I am thankful for my Mom. Mom taught me to cook and to garden. Thank you Mom, because of you we will have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Tonight my kids ate their very first artichokes which we grew from seed in our very own garden. Even better two out of three kids liked them. Dave did too, I think.
- I am thankful for the internet without which we would be in big trouble because all my cookbooks disappeared 3 international moves back. (Please God let them be in storage, Amen.) Thanks to the internet I can find recipes for virtually anything, except gratineed potato gnocchi in sage cream and that's not on the menu for Thanksgiving anyway.
- I am doubly thankful for the internet as it lets me make great friends all one the world. I mentioned earlier that I was in Kenya last week. Well I was there for a very bloggy meet up with Naoma and Alexandra. I can't even tell you how thankful I am to have such wonderful women welcome me into their homes. What an amazing gift.
- I am thankful for my husband. I love him more than words can express. When I called him at 2, after he spent his entire lunch hour picking up "a few things" I still needed for tomorrow, to tell him I forgot to put sugar on the list and he would have to go back to the store on the way home he didn't even bat an eye. He just said "OK no problem." He not only brought home sugar he also brought Pringles. Salt and vinegar Pringles, just for me. Now that's love.
- I am thankful for my kids. They are loud. They are noisy. They fight all the blessed time. They usually stink. But they are mine and love them.
- I am thankful for friend near and far. You enrich my life in more ways than I count.
- I am thankful for my husband's iPad and specifically a little app called Tunein. With that app I can stream radio stations from around the world, but especially my favorite country music station from home which for some reason will not stream on my computer. That taste of home made me feel so much better today, although it did leave me with the lingering feeling I should call Dave to warn him of a pile up in 410 so he wouldn't get caught in traffic.
- I am thankful for laughter. Just a little while ago the boys came through the kitchen and complained about my choice of music. Why didn't I listen to something more interesting, something better, something not so old. They left with their various music players blaring The Beatles All You Need Is Love, The Beach Boys California Girls, and Glee's version of Raise Your Glass. Snort! Giggle Giggle.
Monday, November 21, 2011
One of my best friends anywhere, on any continent, is Monica over at A Day in the Life. We were friends long before either of us had ever heard of a blog, never mind began authoring our respective blogs. We were pregnant together (there's a bonding experience for you) and raised our babies together before Dave and I decided to up and move our family all over the world. Our two boys are still best friends and spend every second together when we are home. Last summer I overheard the two boys plotting for Colin to live with them, or for M. to come live with us for high school. Maybe Monica and I can just send the two of them off to boarding school together.