Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Liver Tea: Kill Me Now

Hi all,

Today I started with my herbal supplements. I got through my morning tea and pills no problem. I hit a wall when Housemom brewed the "Liver Tea" (digestive aid) this afternoon. Unbeknownst to me, she brewed it WAY too strong - at least double. I swear, although I've never drank urine before, it would have to be preferable to this tea. After about 10 agonizing sips, I decided to let it cool so I could chug it. Apparently my face was priceless.

The good news is that it can't possibly be more horrid at the correct strength.

This morning we had the "I am the Bread" theme, and the skit was about a Persian king who was given the gift of cultivating the land. Amazingly, he not only built the first plow himself, but tilled his field. Apparently modern day kings have it easy.

Anyhow, there was more eurhythmy, more singing (they both get added to every day) and it lasted about an hour again. However, with some help from Housemom and Sam I'd decided to make a millet casserole. This one turned out great, having both meat and cheese in it. A big hit. It was warm and filling, plus tasty. A good meal for a cold day. Tomorrow I'm attempting falafel, although I won't tell Connie that they're made from chickpeas. Mwhahaha.

(I was really tempted to set her place tonight with a bowl full of chick peas, but that would go over really badly...)

This afternoon we had our neighborhood meeting which was spent doing costumes for the skit. Honestly, you'd have thought this thing is a Broadway production. It took us 2 hours to get the simple gowns and sashes for 12 people. Maybe I'm lacking in reverence, although mostly I probably just wanted to nap.

Anyhow, we had to also leave work early to come back for a rehearsal, which was mostly them nitpicking over details. This was bad, as I was really needed today in the co-op because we were closed for doing inventory. Plus down one co-worker. I came back for an extra hour and I think they finished the entire stock upstairs, so people can shop again and we can do the stockrooms tomorrow. I was late for dinner, but got Maria's shower in so when she got done with tonight's activity she could go straight to bed.

We had a really good co-worker meeting, albeit a long one. This will be a long weekend with no work on Friday and Monday and no days off, but we'll probably pull through. I'm excited to do some German cooking with Sam on Monday, and the fish on Friday - although we still need some ingredients. Probably an IGA run tomorrow during rest hour.

Anyhow, I'm pretty zonked. I could've gone to bed at 8 tonight, no problem. And now it's almost 11. Sigh.

Hope all is well,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just One of Those Days

Hi all,

Today was just one of those "off" days, and I knew it would be a long one. I found myself feeling anxious, jittery, stressed, tired and my back was hurting. I read somewhere that if you laugh for 7 seconds within the first 3 minutes of getting up that it will help your mood for the day. While I've been doing it lately, this morning's attempt was rather feeble.

Today's skit was hilarious. They performed "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde. The neighborhood has some very musically gifted house parents, who provided background music and great sound effects. The acting was wonderful, and one small mis-speak made for a hilarious moment (the Giant said he was going to knock down the trees with the children in them, instead of the fence!). Also, there was lots of fluttering around, and one of the male co-workers really got into it. Surprisingly graceful, I must admit.

However, this cut the morning short and made it more miserable by raining steadily all day. I hate being wet. Ugh. We had time for a quick potato run, and then I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies. A little baking therapy to try to throw the funk I was in. Housemom told me to make myself a nice glass of tea and relax, after some deep breathing I was definitely in a better space.

Lunch was at the cafe for me today, and was essentially leftovers from Friday night. Which means that they charged 20 a plate for that food (which mainly consisted of white rice). Insane.

I had a doctor's appointment today, which probably caused some of the stress. Because, really, who likes going to the doctor? I'm curious to try some natural supplements for skin and digestive health and so I'm now taking various things. I've had such mixed success with antibiotics that I'm willing to keep an open mind and give it a go.

Afterwards I was at the co-op, where I managed to work through the day. I knew my patience wasn't doing so hot and felt kind of shaky and fragile (emotionally and physically) the entire time. By keeping busy and limiting my exposure to Connie (and some good co-worker support) I made it through. I've also had some good downtime tonight because most of the house is at a gathering.

I'm not sure what brought on the funk, but I'm sure the rain isn't helping. I'm getting enough sleep I know, so that's probably not it. I suspect it's a build up of allergies, a slight cold, juggling the house with 3 co-workers, some internal changes, the work situation stress and the annoying gloomy and ever-present rain. However, I know that the sun has to shine sometime and that this week with the festivities will pass as well.

I'm concentrating on looking forward to making the fish for this Friday (hurrah for restaurant experience), the promised sunshine, performing our skit, stitch 'n bitch tonight, and hanging out with people I like.

Additionally, everyone should watch "Food Inc" it will blow your mind.

Hope all is well,

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monkey In The Middle

Hi all,

Well, it was another drizzly and depressing day here. However, I hear some sunshine is in the works soon, so that's a happy thought. This morning we started the holy week festivities running up to Easter. Today's verse was: "I am the door". Neighborhood one presented a poem and had an "eurythmy" performance. So that was interesting. There are grown ups prancing around in flowing robes and (supposed to be) in unison. Housemom said that today wasn't the best example, since the people weren't eurythmists and probably hadn't had much time to practice. She also said that the first time she saw a performance she thought:

"Oh my god, I joined a cult!"

Naturally, there are several types, including performance, therapy and sound. Once again, I guess I suggest wikipedia?

So, work was behind today, but I still managed a very tasty African salad (brown rice, diced dates, oranges, raisins, craisins, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, cinnamon and cumin) and a somewhat dubious "Kale and Potato Gratin". It really just needed some cheese.

I was rather torn about what to do today, but my work master stopped by and told me to come to the co-op. This made me a little uncomfortable, as I feel like I'm in the middle of something, but it was a relief. It's a very busy week for us, we have our order and we're doing inventory on Wednesday. I also chatted with someone on the works group and was assured that it would be brought up again, and that I could even invite myself to the meeting. Which only makes a little sense, right?

Like the other 2 work masters, she was out of the loop and thought that the way I'd been told was inappropriate as well. This makes me feel a lot better. My official stance is that I'd like to stay in the co-op, but I will go without fuss if they truly need me. That's all I can ask for. I'm not trying to be difficult, I don't think, as there are some valid points for me staying. Though I wasn't too thrilled in the beginning, I like the group and feel that I can contribute there, especially as most of the co-workers will be leaving in the not-so-distant future. My workmaster also had some very nice completely work-related compliments, but they made me blush, so I'm not going to share them.

Hope all is well,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

So, About that Day Off

Hi all,

I got to sleep in until almost 9. I got up, got ready for the day and lugged down my darks to wash. However, there was stuff already in the washer, that was sopping wet still. So I put it on a drain cycle. 20 minutes later I find out that the washing machine is also not working. It was flashing a lovely error code. So I did what any stubbornly self-sufficient woman does when facing a mechanical crisis:

I googled it.

And in doing so, I discovered this lovely video.

So naturally, I decided to give it a go. After about 25 minutes of screw driver failure (probably not the first time the screws had been taken out to get to the filter), Sam helped me find the secret compartment with the smaller ratchet wrench. Despite this minor male help (housemom was all for me doing it myself, but offered to get the closest neighbor housefather to come over...he did come over, but it turned out to just borrow some baking power, which is kind of an ironic reversal...), I did manage to get the filter cleaned out.

Disgusting. Especially with the last load being full of sick chicken-related grossness.

The chicken is still holding on, and is living in our bootroom in a cage, temporarily.

I invited Schmee over for brunch and afterward we went to Great Barrington. We stopped at a coffee shop and had the most horrendous chai tea of my life. We both had ordered it, and noticed the other one making faces. I summoned a little courage and asked the guy what kind of mix they use...and apparently they make their own: ginger, black pepper, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. And it was truly disgusting. I've had pretty authentic chai before, not from a mix, so they're definitely doing it wrong.

After weighing out our options, we went with using them as handwarmers while we wandered about. We visited a cool little candy shop, a toy store, the bead store and one or two others. It was nice to get out of the village.

I was back in time for dinner, mainly just to try the chocolate mousse that Sam had made with Toblerone. It was exquisitely delicious! Plus, the person that was coming from another community turned out to not be a co-worker, as we were led to believe, but was a villager. So there's some more stress for housemom for the day! Not a very nice thing to do, since we're already one co-worker down with housedad gone. So I ended up doing the dishes.

So, an interesting day off. But now I have clean laundry!

Hope all is well,

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Hi all,

Today, I discovered the world's best (and simplest) playground equipment - ever. I mean, it's this thing that's basically like a bowl that you sit in, but has 3 dips around it (think of a falling open tulip). You put your legs on either side of one of the "spokes" and lean back. And it's like your own little personal merry-go-round. Fan-flippin-tastic.

Oh, did I mention the house went out today?

After getting up at 6:30 (2 days running, second one definitely not as fun...) and running a co-worker into Hudson for a driving class, I got back just in time to do cold cereal prep. After breakfast we did cleaning and then did hall cleaning and a skit practice. As usual, it went on for WAY too long. People with a passion for acting should be kept far away from the apathetic ones. Especially since 90% of the narration is done by 1 person.

After a leftovers lunch we had a nice rest hour, until it was discovered that Rusty was sick. Now, Rusty is a "nice" rooster who has been rather sickly. Honestly, I did wonder if we eat or bury pets. Obviously I did not ask.

We also went to Taghkanic State Park where there are 3 different playgrounds, a gorgeous beach and a long hiking trail around the lake. There was a large sign proclaiming "No people over 12 on the equipment". Over 12 what? Feet? No problem.

I might've had WAY too much fun.

We went out to dinner in Hudson in the trendy Mexican restaurant. The food was fast (because they were squeezing us in) but the price was ridiculous for what you got. They brought out the "quesadillas" and they were identical size of a normal hardshell taco. However, since I don't pay for my own food, this didn't gall me as much as it probably should have.

Tomorrow I have to day off and no plans for it so far. I have some movies to watch, books to read, and there's always jewelry. Or a last minute phone call, because that's just how things are here.

Anyhow, I hope all is well,

Friday, March 26, 2010

A New Low of Mortification

Hi all,

Yep. Definitely time for one of those posts again. You know, the one where I don't just drone on about my day to day living, but actually share how I managed to humiliate myself? Granted, it seems to happen a little less in a country where I speak the native language, but somehow I still manage. Anyhow, yesterday recap, just to postpone the inevitable.

I was pretty much out for most of the morning running errands again, and I got to go to the library to pick up a book. Connie has been taking music therapy, which has seemed to help her with getting some things out more smoothly. However, she then decides to repeat herself about 20 times. And then if you ask her not to repeat herself (or that you already heard her, and need to talk to someone else...) she gets super defensive, and it's a vicious circle that's incredibly annoying. Anyhow, she currently wants me to "NEVER EVER AGAIN MAKE ANYTHING WITH CHICK PEAS!!!" although she'd eaten plenty of things with them. My last soup apparently wasn't a hit. We all thought it was delicious. She also is trying to get housemom to "ban" the word "chick peas". And thinks this is a reasonable request. Did I mention she has poor capability for perspective-taking?

Anyhow, last night for dinner I made an amazing "Red Lentil with Bulgur Wheat and Mint Soup", which has Turkish roots. Definitely one of the best soups so far. After dinner it was cocoa night, and I was pretty tired. So, I had some coffee. My logic behind this was impeccable, of course. I knew I would poop out of karaoke if I didn't perk up, and I was counting on alcohol to countermand the effects. We left around 9:30, and got there shortly before 10. After a moderate dose of liquid courage (not to mention some urging and then seeing the other "singers") we went up as a group a few times. I know, I know. ME?? Yes. Plus, I totally rocked "Piano Man"...or something like that. It was a lot of fun, and nice and small group. I only had 2 drinks, but it was nice to relax and have some fun. My plan also worked, I got home and conked out at about 12:30, and sprang out of bed very awake at 6:30. Just in time to help with the "German Pancakes". Well, I liked them.

This morning was very busy. I did some vacuuming, cleaned a bathroom and then scrubbed all the disgusting mold out of my window frames. This is a lost cause, as it will quickly regrow because the wood is stripped of any protective layers. This also made my allergies very unhappy. Lunch was spaghetti (yay for Friday spaghetti!), and it was, interesting. I put onions and garlic into the food processors and, on a whim, threw in a few golden beets. I figured it'd be really bad or no one would notice. We only had about 1/3 pound of beef thawed, so although the beets didn't cook down to be completely soft, it had the same texture as a meat sauce. Needless to say, it was delicious and no one noticed. I wish I could say that about the rest of the meal.

Ready for this?

It's kind of gross.

In fact, if you're having second thoughts, you should probably not read on.

Ok. You were warned. So, the other night I was cutting bread and caught the knife on an almost-healed hang nail and bled onto a piece of bread. Gross, right? So, mindful of this, I decided to put a bandaid on it -just in case - when I made a last-minute coleslaw upon discovering that we (and both neighbor houses, and the co-op) were out of lettuce. In a frenzy, I managed to get the cabbage and carrots processed and the sauce made and it all thrown together in time to eat. Everyone really liked the sauce and coleslaw.

Suddenly, housemom made a face and pulled out a "piece of very chewy cabbage".

Except, of course, it wasn't.

Upon hearing what it was, I looked down in horror to find that, indeed, my bandaid was missing. Never mind the fact that it was clean and I wore it for less than 5 minutes probably, what a horrific experience! Plus, the acknowledgment that she'd contemplated just eating the "chewy cabbage piece". I was obviously mortified, and Connie immediately started yelling in an accusative manner:
"You shouldn't do that! Why did you do that! That's gross. Don't do that...etc"

Over, and over, and over, and over.

Meanwhile, I was so embarrassed and when housemom and the new co-worker started laughing I just had to join in.
The new co-worker's response:

"Oh! That happened to me once with meatballs!"

And then he proceeded to eat the rest of the coleslaw on his plate. Bless him.

Housemom actually got quite upset with Connie, because, although we explained numerous times that it was an accident, she just wouldn't shut up.

So, naturally, the whole village will know about it tomorrow. I can't decided how much worse it is than the salted clafouti. Guess I'll find out?

To ice the cake, I gave up my rest hour to driving Connie to get a hair cut. After housemom made her apologize for being rude. Although she didn't mean it.

However, I had a great afternoon in the co-op, just keeping busy with routine things. My "workmaster" (ie, the co-worker who runs the co-op, officially) apparently didn't know a thing about my leaving until Bean mentioned it in passing this morning. It did occur to me, at one moment, that maybe it was his idea that I should do something else. I was kind of hurt at the thought that he just wouldn't tell me, but that definitely wasn't the case. It's very unusual, because neither he nor the woman who is the "workmaster" for food processing knew about the change yet. Obviously good communication. I don't want to make waves with the work group, as I do want to get into the stain glass workshop, but I was glad to hear that some of my concerns were valid. Whatever the outcome, it's nice that my co-workers enjoy having me around.

Hope all is well,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Hi all,

Well, I have to say I was pretty upset a few hours ago. Once again I was set upon by the woman who is the liaison to the works group in my neighborhood, and she almost seemed to relish giving me the news. She also said "Well, there isn't any reason why you can get out of this one.", so I'm pretty sure she actually did. Apparently, they also find it ridiculous to have 7 people in the co-op (so why the hell did they do it in the first place?!?), and so I "get" to move. Not the new person, of course not. After all, he's a guy and they need a person in food processing. So yes, I'll get to spend my afternoons chopping up crap. Gee, don't I spend my mornings cooking and doing that already?
I guess her imperious tone really bugged me. It's fine if they need someone, but I don't really like being commandeered about. One of the main reasons I came was to acquire some skills, and so I was really hoping that my next workshop would be conducive to that. Guess not.

Slightly embittered here.

And I know. It's a stupid thing to be upset about and I should grow up and just be ok with it. But it's hard to not feel as though I'm being walked over and so I'm trying to get the resentment out in a slightly acceptable manner.

I'll let you know how that goes.

Hope all is well,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What I Love About the "Commune-ity"

Hi all,

A sample conversation from tonight:
Sam (new male coworker), is playing with the children, and they've exhausted him...slightly muffled from under a pile of children:
"Oh! I know what I forgot at Wal-Mart last night!"
Me: "What?"
Me: "Sam! Some things are not appropriate to talk about around the children..."
Housemom: (without missing a beat): "Yes Sam, we really don't need to hear about what you do in your own personal, private time."

Look on his face: priceless.

I also enjoy the fact that if you walked into our kitchen and opened the dishwasher, you would have grave doubts about the atmosphere in the community. In nearly every load you'd see 8-10 shot glasses. However, here they are known as "medicine cups" (and yes, there are plenty of jokes made in secret about it...), for dispensing both homeopathic and allopathic medicines.

I also love: my room, it feels like home (minus the one poster, ahem brother), the fact that I never know when a cat or cuddly 4 (or 6 or 8) year old will decide to climb into my lap, having a feeling of both independence and belonging/interdependence, the smell of spring in the air, naps!, the friends I am making with their individual quirks and varied personalities, freshly baked bread, learning to cook new foods, walks around the "ring road" at night, beautiful upstate NY country side, fresh eggs from the chickens, having a little time to read for fun, blogging, getting mail, working on my jewelry/craft nights with Bean, the rhythm of daily life.

I'm sure I could make an equally long list of things that I miss (like family/friends, Rio and Sixlets), but that's probably counter-productive. For right now, it's enough for me to just be here, and find things I enjoy in the every day life.

Hope all is well,

Monday, March 22, 2010

Knock on Wood

Hi all,

So, I must say that things are going very well in my house. The new co-worker is funny, good with the children and more than competent. So far it seems to be an almost perfect match (knock on wood). Our house is definitely one of the challenging ones, so I'm hoping we won't scare him off. The children don't seem to intimidate him, and they made him their personal jungle gym today.

Today was an end to our gorgeous and sunny weather we've been enjoying so much. Although it wasn't snowing, the rain kept coming down at various degrees of intensity throughout the day. And although I thought orchard tree-pruning might get canceled, it wasn't. We only had about half the group show up (1/3 were gone, and the other 1/3 had excuses, except one), and I'm not sure any of us knew what we were doing. At all. Because "trim the ones that go straight up" starts getting tricky. And boring. Especially in the rain! However, we hacked away for 1.5 hours, had tea break and went home. I actually had a fun time wrestling with the "brambles" (vicious raspberry plants) and it felt good to be outside working. Better cold than hot.

In the most exciting news of the day:


Not excited at all, can you tell?

Now my brother just has to book his ticket and we'll be set. I used studentuniverse and I got a pretty good deal. With travel insurance it was right under $635 round trip. I can't wait.

But I have to, because it's in August.

: (

However, the first few months here have already flown by, and I'm sure that summer will only seem to accelerate the process.

Hope all is well,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Slowly But Steadily

Hi all,

So, remember (maybe?) approximately 5-6 months ago when I had the posts on the jewelry I was making? Well, I did get the first necklace completely finished in November, and then didn't do any for December. I'd been working on the second one on my days off, but lately I've actually had things to do. However, I had some time this afternoon and so I finished putting the beads on the second one. There is a slight variation that I need to correct, but other than that it looks pretty good!

Of course, it will also eventually need a clasp. Sigh.

I think my subconscious is feeling guilty about not working on it more, as I had a nightmare about the wedding the other night. See what a supportive bridesmaid I'm being? I'm stressing from afar months before the wedding! However, that's 2 down, 2 to go!

Today housemom took a much needed day off and so I did brunch and the cake for dessert. It's also the new co-workers birthday, so he had it off and went to NYC. He'll probably creep in around midnight, so he'll have to have it tomorrow! After brunch we had a long rest time, and then the villagers were off to a movie showing in the hall (The Wizard of Oz) at 3:15. So I had the whole afternoon to work on the necklace. Granted, it was a fantastic 70 degrees outside, but there were also 5 screaming children and I didn't feel like lugging my stuff downstairs.

After dinner I went and kicked a soccer ball around with the 8 year old and Maria. I can tell that she's played before, apparently with her mom. So this will be a good activity, I should think. I'm also getting impulses to go and run, thankfully my sanity kicks in eventually. That, and the fact that I'll have to have my tennis shoes sent. And my soccer bag. And my softball glove. And my capris. (Wishful thinking, I suppose, but it's sooooo tempting...). That'd be quite the box, so I was looking online trying to figure out the approximate price, and I decided it'd be cheapest to just have my parents scan pictures of them to me.

Because that would be helpful.

Hope all is well,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome Spring, Welcome First Robin, Welcome Allergies

Hi all,

Isn't it fitting: the first day of spring I see the my first robin of the year? Although, I'm not sure that I've ever had a 70 degree-first-day-of-spring before. Not that I'm complaining!
Yesterday was pretty much a typical Friday. I got a little socializing in last night and got to talk to some people I rarely see. It became a sort of theme for me that carried over for today. I got up, after managing to sleep until 9:30 -a record for Saturday. My earplugs can't quite withstand the vacuum, and the new co-worker was a bit apologetic. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Yesterday afternoon I'd signed out the car from 12-4 and was quite surprised to see that one of the neighbors had crossed me out. However, since I'd been invited along to a trip to fulfill a civics requirement for Americorps, I decided to change my time to an earlier time anyway. But they're really not supposed to do that, and housemom was quite indignant on my behalf. I went to Hudson and got a haircut (open on Saturdays) and picked up some things for today and tomorrow for cooking that weren't available in the co-op. When I got back (rushing...), I found a bar of chocolate and a note hanging attached to my door.

The neighbor housemom was in such a hurry, that when she saw my name, she thought it was her husband's, as he often signs like me. (Any guesses to what his name is?) So she'd thought he'd been a bit of an idiot and checked it out for the wrong time, and corrected the situation. Apparently she was quite embarrassed by this - hence the chocolate. No complaints here!

Luckily, even though I was a bit late, the group set off late anyway. We went to Hyde park and wrangled our way onto a tour (we'd called ahead about arranging a special tour since we were bringing villagers, but were assured no extra measures were necessary...they lied). I felt slightly discriminated against, on their behalf. I feel that the community I grew up in has a much better and tolerant view on people who are differently-abled, and so it surprises me when I run into people with no tolerance and are blindly ignorant and rude. This is especially surprising as FDR himself had a physical disability in a time where it was suspected that you must also have mental issues if you had physical ones....
However, the tour guide was wonderful, funny and very informative. Above is a picture of the "house" (we joked we could just move the community into the 1500 acres...), that FDR grew up in and lived in. It's now a museum. Couldn't take pictures inside. My favorite part was the hill and landscape that he had as an overlook from his room:



Anyhow, we also stopped by a Dairy Queen (yay!) and so now I'm a little bit in love with the Hyde Park area, and want to come back at the end of June for the Rose Garden!

Anyhow, running brunch tomorrow.

Hope all is well,

I'm Not Dead, I Just Have a Life...

Hi all,

And my life is dead tired. Maybe has something to do with that ravine I climbed. Anyhow. Post tomorrow.

Hope all is well,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It Should Really Count For My "Civics" Requirement...

Hi all,

Tonight I introduced 5 Germans to Apples to Apples. It pretty much blew their minds (or something like that). The best part was the end, when one guy had "Hopeless, Dirty and Ridiculous". Probably not his favorite game now.

Today was a rush, really. The morning started out well, though it was funny to have an extra body in the kitchen. I remember it being way more awkward trying to watch what was happening rather than just getting to help. Luckily, you get sucked in quickly! I did a co-op run this morning and discovered that there was only a villager in there. After making various phone calls when I got home, I eventually had to contact his housemom to have him go home. He might've gorged himself on bananas first...

I spent the afternoon taking one of the villagers (definitely the best one in the house! Although I'm stumped on a name for him..) for an eye appointment in Hudson. It went pretty quickly (although who knew that nuns drive Honda Accords?!? No leather interior though...) and we had tea break at a cafe, and then stopped and did a little shopping. I got stuff for making rice crispy bars (cocoa crispies!), which at first perplexed the Germans. It didn't last very long though! Although, I most of disappeared into Dusty...

The soup I made "Gypsy Soup" was actually really tasty, although Connie requested I leave out the chick peas from now on. Which is ridiculous, as she first complimented it - before tasting it - and ate hummus as well. Plus, it's like 1/3 of the soup. Tough.

Tonight, on the way to the game night, I went to lock up the hall. It was going well until the "library" where I managed to burst in on an executive committee - or what passes for them in the community - which was pretty awkward. "I'll, uh, let you lock it yourselves then..."

Anyhow, no nap today and I'm zonked...

Hope all is well,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bring It.

Hi all,

Sure, I may have snagged my elbow on a picture frame while vacuuming (hello a million tiny pieces of glass), burned the mexican millet on the bottom (still tasted fantastic, along with the quesadillas), didn't get a nap, had to sit through a tortuous "skit practice" where nothing got done, got burned out on Connie and over-sugared children (youngest turned 4 today...fantastic cake) and not gotten anything accomplished at work (hello 60 degrees...) - but hey, we're getting a new male co-worker (permanent...) tonight. As in, within 2 hours.

How frickin' fantastic is that?

So, world - Bring It.

Hope all is well,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not a Hausfrau

Hi all,

Today was a pretty awesome day. I got to spend most of it driving around. I went to a dentist appointment this morning (which went just fine, no problem getting there), made a quick stop to pick up some things for the house, and made it back home around 10:45. Housemom asked if I was "driven-out" and upon hearing the negation sent me in the opposite direction to the library. Between the library (where I successfully got out of a wrongful fee!) and the pharmacy, I made it back just in time for lunch in the cafe.

My table was, as usual, quite lively. However, it was a fun lively, for the most part. Just general tomfoolery. Although I do have to say that the "butterscotch pudding" really tested my texture buds...

It was also GORGEOUS out here today, well into the fifties, although with a good breeze. It was order day in the co-op, but during tea break we all went outside to soak up a few rays of sunshine. Lovely. I was on my own for dinner - but with 5 of us, it's just a piece of cake. I also made everyone really hurry for clean up and dragged us out for a walk. Beau was quite adamant about not wanting to go until I said "PLEASEEEE...You can hold my hand..." Yup, that's all the incentive he needed. He kept a death grip on it too...

Tonight, while finishing the cribbage game with the 8 year old (who definitely is not quite ready for it, making combinations of 15 is quite a challenge for her...), the neighborhood work representative stopped by to talk to me. This put me slightly on edge. Her news that they wanted to switch me to working afternoons in one of the care houses was not well-received. Tactfully, my response was:

"Um, but then wouldn't I be in the house all day long? Although, do I actually get a say?"
"Oh., that won't work. We try not to do that..."

So, phew.

Because, although I don't mind running the morning work crew much - it's a great relief to get out of the house environment during the day. I'm just glad they didn't want me in the morning - not that housemom would give me up...her eyes grew HUGE at the thought...

Anyhow, perhaps a male co-worker tomorrow night or Thurs?

Hope all is well,

Monday, March 15, 2010

"You're So Cozy, I Never Want To Leave Your Arms!"

Hi all,

After many more hours of screaming children (although mostly in delight today, thankfully) the 3 (almost 4...) year old decided that he was in the mood for some cuddling. Since his mom was busy running around, he decided I was the next best thing. He followed up his stellar comment about how cozy I am with: "You're just like a couch!"

In other news, because you're obviously dying to know, we are FINALLY getting a "new" co-worker. Apparently we'll get a temporary one starting Thursday, and in several weeks we'll have a permanent one. This is good, although Beau finally got a bath today. One of the neighbor guys mustered his courage and it went all right. However, as I was helping him with his teeth care tonight he enjoyed himself a little too much. After we were done, he rushed behind me, patted my bottom and giggled all the way back to his room.
"Beau!" was all I could manage to exclaim, in mild disbelief.
This will definitely not happen with a male co-worker...I would assume?

So yeah, definitely happy to hear the news.

In another red-letter-day event, EVERYONE (including picky child #2, who I've long given up any hope of pleasing...) enjoyed lunch today! I did a reprisal of last Monday with the Sesame Tofu, but used some green chard and carrots with it. Delicious!

Tomorrow is our day in the cafe for lunch, but I'll be out for part of the morning running someone to the dentist. Obviously I've never been where I'm going before, but at this point, why would I let it daunt me?

And on a final note, I've finally gotten a cribbage board, and the 8 year old is a willing spirit. So after making flash cards for her 6 and 9 times tables (taught her the finger trick, probably lame that I still think it's cool???) we started on that. She's valiantly attempting to master it, and I think she'll probably make it. I know I learned at about her age, although it took quite a few more years to get re-interested in it and to come to love it. Even if we continue to play "open handed" for a while, the counting has to be good, right?

Hope all is well,

Ps. Wasn't this a positively chipper post?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In Which Steph Breaks Things

Hi all,

Yes, that was a plural - things. The morning started off with a bang (well, a tinkling...) with absolutely no warning. I was tilting the jar to pour out some granola when I hear a *clink* and then stared dumbfounded as granola started to somehow sprinkle onto the floor. The piece pretty much just popped out, and there were only 3-4 tiny little fragments that splintered off. I think housemom's psychic powers may be rubbing off...scary thought.

Additionally, after a wonderful lunch of non-salted clafouti and a far-too-short rest hour we all trundled out to take the 15 passenger van to a local concert. We were running late, but the children were being so horrid that we had to pull over to rearrange the seating. Housemom is looking a little haggard. Anyhow, she also had to take the two youngest out because they couldn't appreciate the musical genius of Nancy Allen Lundy and Stephen Gosling. In case you don't want to watch the 9 minute long videos, they were amazing. Plus, the "select" local HS choir sang along with a few selections (which was pretty bad, except "Swing Low, Chariot" which was very good). They did a selection of "folk songs" from around the world, and most of them were great. It seemed as though people enjoyed them.

When we got back to the van, it was discovered that the front passenger door (ie, where Steph had sat) was jammed shut. The seatbelt got caught (give me a break, I was leaping out to help out others from the back since we were late!), and the cloth part jammed up the release. We got it open. And it stayed that way. Guess who held the door shut for the 20 minute ride home? Housemom nervously joked that if she lost me, she'd never get another co-worker.

Probably true.

Speaking of, I'm getting really irritated about not getting a new co-worker. With housedad gone (great timing, right? BUT TOTALLY NOT MY FAULT), we have zero male co-workers in the house. The kids have been acting up like crazy lately (housemom has been horrified, exhausted and determined to re-balance the behavior! Which is nice...) and so that's not helping either. However, the icing on the cake is that 1. We haven't heard anything and 2. The male co-workers next door are being about 100% useless. Now, they seem to be pretty decent guys, but when the both make excuses about how they can't come over to give the one guy who needs help his 5 minute bath I start to get pretty pissed. I do NOT feel "supported"! Grrrrrrrr.

I know that other houses have their own schedules and people, but I absolutely refuse to believe that it should take 1 to 1.5 months to get someone in - or just every other night to help for 20 minutes. So, yes, I'm a tad bit upset.

Not helping my mood is the creepy walk and hall lock up at night. I finally brought a flashlight because one of the path lights is burned out along the route - nearly causing me to stumble into a tree. With help of said flashlight, I stayed on the path and saw the offending light. Mumbling particularly choice words at it, I gave it a small kick - and it turned ON.

This has mollified me.

Hope all is well,

PS They fixed the van door easily enough, apparently it has happened before...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Let The Games Begin

Hi all,

Today was a pretty low-key day. I went with Bean and villager out to lunch in Hudson. I wasn't very adventurous and stuck with the amazing prosciutto panini I had last time. YUM. We did a quick salvation army stop (cheap books!) and then Walmart.

I'd steeled myself to buy what I needed (like a watch...finally) and I ended up coming out with the Apples to Apples game. It made no sense to have it sent from home, since it's heavy and I wouldn't want to have to lug it home at a future point. Plus, apparently it's not just the Germans that have never heard of it. I don't know what's wrong with East Coast education, but Bean was oblivious to this wondrous game. Plus, it teaches English, so that's always a plus, right? Now I just have to be social and non-lazy enough to get a game night together...

I also did the "call around the family to check in and ascertain people are alive call". I had 100%, and including the brother I called yesterday, I got the whole nuclear family covered. Go me.

I don't have any plans for tonight, so I'll probably work on my jewelry stuff. Not extremely social, but it's a dark and windy night (with obnoxious splatterings of rain!). Should be great fun to lock up the hall tonight...

Hope all is well,

PS. I'm also really impressed that Bean managed to eat 3 donuts in a row on the way home.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Dilemma of Days Off

Hi all,

Yesterday evening housemom informed me I can have Saturday off. This is fine, except I'm a planner, and so obviously had no time to do so. I'm also lazy, and unless I make plans with other people - thus giving me motivation to actually do something - I often end up simply deciding it's not worth the effort. Thus tomorrow may be a wash. I suppose I should sign out the car as a precaution, but...laziness.

Anyhow, today was a long day. I haven't been feeling 100% and finally dragged myself to the Dr.'s office today and got a supplement to help (believe me, you don't want to know the details...). Dreading the trek back (amazing how draining the simple act of walking can be when you're not feeling well), I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to catch a ride. Lazy, yes, but we already have established that. It was even with a co-worker I haven't managed to talk with much, and I'm afraid I didn't exactly wow him conversationally with my stupor.

The nurse had advised me to try to rest today, and the only house worker was an amazing force, going on from job to job with little direction and no complaints! I managed to rustle together lunch (since housemom and the kids were out for a dentist's appointment) and get people where they needed to be. I reluctantly called the co-worker in charge of the co-op, and was reassured that it'd be fine I stayed home. I like Fridays at the co-op though, so it was kind of a disappointment. At any rate, I ended up napping for about 2.5 hours, waking up to a houseful of screaming children -3 extra- and a hassled-looking housemom. Although, sometimes, I think she brings the craziness on herself...3 other kids?!?

Anyhow, I'm off to lock up the hall...and that's pretty much my plan for the evening...

Hope all is well,

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Hi all,

So, running tally for the damages (not done while housemom has been away. 1. Broken Glass (Almost caught on foot, but then it bounced off and still broke). 2. Broken egg (in my coat pocket when I brilliantly tried to slam the door shut by throwing my hip against it) and 3. A handful of ketchup. I blame physics for the last one, and not my delicious oven-roasted potatoes that accompanied my lovely cheddar/broccoli/red pepper quiche. You may have a moment for jealousy.


Another frequent casualty is the English language under my mastery. My favorite 3 mis-sayings:

"What's the breast thing to do with this chicken?"

"Which horse are they living in?" (Person who works with the

and tonight:

What happens when Steph tries to say "Tiny" and "Bitty" at the same time. Grossly inappropriate. And naturally only in front of the males of the house...

Housemom came home this evening at about 5, and concentrated on unloading the ridiculously-well-stocked van. We had leftover millet-chilli (still quite good, so don't knock it until you've had it) and I kept the house running as she discovered the childrens' rooms were still ripped up from being painted and that her room was only half-done. Thankfully we still have 2 empty rooms.

Although there are rumors flying that it won't be for long. I have no comment.

Hope all is well,

PS. I really was going to go to bed at 10 last night, but Bean came over and we ended up talking/roaring with laughter until midnight. Good for the soul!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

So Grown Up, I Scare Myself

Hi all,

I've noticed recently that I'm getting old. Whereas in the past I'd be content to read until 3 in the morning and suffer through a day with 3 hours of sleep, I've lately decided that my 7.5/8 hours of sleep must happen instead. I suppose that could be a commentary on what I've been reading. However, for the sake of this argument, I'm going with the fact that I'm getting pathetically old.

However, this isn't concrete, really. What IS concrete is what happened today. Upon trundling everyone out the door to go to the neighborhood meeting, I'm informed that 1. It will be co-workers only and 2. It won't be held at my house. Well, I can't leave everyone, so obviously I'm unable to go. It irked me slightly, but really, I'm not going to complain. Because that's a good solid nap right there! However, upon giving into the temptation of checking my e-mail, I found out I had the documents to do my taxes. So guess who now has her taxes filed (hello Germany!)? Just to spell that out though: I chose doing my taxes over a nap.

Oh, I'm also tired.

I also have to walk up hill both ways coming to and from work, but that's a geographical phenomenon known as a valley. We also did spring cleaning today at work (although which spring it was done last is surely a point for contention...) and so I spent a lot of time up and clinging to shelves, and hoping not to fall down off of them. We can also see out some of the windows again, so that's a plus.

Anyhow, only most of tomorrow to soldier on through. I did get a funny phone call this morning from housemom though:

HM: "Hey. You ok...etc. Can I talk to Housedad?"
Me: "Uh, he's gone."
HM: "Really? Gone?"
Me: "Yup, Gone."
HM: "Gone where?"
Me: "Gone Gone?"
HM: "As in he left???"
Me: (with a dawning realization of mis-communication)"Uh, yes. Gone, as in on his trip to ____"
HM:"This MORNING?! You're ALL ALONE???!?!?" (with panic in her voice)
Me: "Yup"
HM:"But...What? He wasn't going to go until I got back...You sound ok...but there's something in your voice..."
Me: "Yeah, I'm sorry, but your voice is kind of priceless, I kind of find it funny. But really, I'm fine..."
HM: "Okkkk. What's the number for next door?! I need to talk to her!"

I shouldn't find her panicking to be a funny thing, but I was amused. I mean, I've been running the morning crew and the guys are pretty low maintenance, and I've had to help with them before. Plus, I did the easy option of "bread and spread" for dinner, so it's not like I even cooked an extra meal today. On a less humorous note, I don't think housedad will be back before Monday. This means that Steph=No Day Off this weekend. : (

However, I'm angling for a promise of a weekend sometime...

Hope all is well,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Home Alone...Plus 4

Hi all,

Well, plus 18 if you count the cats and the chickens, but they won't help much if the house burns down. (I thank a co-worker next door who suggested this possibility.) As of 8 AM tomorrow I will officially be holding down the fort. It's ok though, I mean, I've been here a whole 2 months...what could possibly go wrong? Yep.

Anyhow, I've decided that having a blog is a lot like having a boyfriend. Not too many people actually care one way or the other. Additionally, you end up saving up the funny little tidbits of your day, so that you can impress them with your wit and charm. Or just because you think they would/should d be interested. Or the former.

Except some days you just don't want to talk. You only want to cuddle. You might not know this, but blogs are notoriously bad cuddlers.

At any rate, there aren't any fascinating tidbits today. I made granola since the bakery didn't last week (and there's absolutely NO WAY that I'm eating more oatmeal) and I'm not sure how much I like it, but I'll blame it on the recipe and quinoa. We had some good meat lasagna at the cafe and I slept like a rock during rest hour. The co-op had the order in today, and there's a temporary co-worker coming to help out. An old staff kid come home to visit and for R&R. Which is fine, because we're down 1 co-worker and 1 villager this week. We had leftovers for dinner and I learned how to lock up the hall and will be doing that starting Thursday to next Thursday.

Now, about that cuddle.

Hope all is well,

Monday, March 8, 2010

I'd Tap That

Hi all,

Really though, as an English major/degree I'm practically obligated to share my knowledge on the finer details/slang of the language - right? That's what I tell myself as I unleash the shadier aspects on the poor, unsuspecting Germans here. Although usually it's in context...

Today I decided to join the "sap run" as the orientation class was canceled. If it hadn't been for the gorgeous, above 50 degree weather though, I definitely would've had "nap" win out. The premise is basic. Grab buckets, empty buckets hung on tree into buckets, lug buckets back and pour through a "strainer" into giant tank pulled by lawnmower/tractor to be pulled back to the "sugar shack" to be boiled down into sweet, sweet maple syrup. In reality, this means some accidental dousings (good idea to not wear a white t-shirt...) and snow down your boots. Plus some particularly mucky treks down by the creek to get to those lovely buckets... It was as hard as I thought it'd be, but we did manage to end early. Anyhow, you can see where the "I'd tap that" humor came in. I was assured they'd laugh at it the next time.

This morning was pretty hectic, but my morning crew on task in a majorly good way, and I managed to not only make lunch (some fried rice and some absolutely fantastic tofu and carrots!) but also get the leek and potato soup done as well. The tofu was marinated in a sesame sauce with balsamic vinegar, cilantro, onions, soy sauce, brown sugar and lots of sesame oil. I'd never really cooked it before, and I was really pleased with the intense flavor and that it was cooked perfectly. I made too much for a group of 5, but tomorrow we'll have leftovers for dinner.

I found out that housemom won't be coming home until Thursday evening, and housedad will actually be leaving Wednesday morning. So there will be about 36 hours of just me. I mean, I have the neighbors popping in 3 times a day to do meds, so it's hardly like I'm out of range of getting any help. And I'm hoping that I'll be able to get a weekend off out of this, to be used sometime this summer for visiting family!

On a completely different note, read this:

Gives some interesting perspective on bottled water.

Hope all is well,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring is in the Air!

Hi all,

And I'm knocking on wood. Because, let's face it, even after a BEAUTIFUL day like today, it will probably try to snow again sometime this week. Not that I knew was a beautiful day for most of the day, since I was slaving away in the kitchen. Actually, I was making tremendous messes and then cleaning them up again. However, I enjoy doing it, so it balances. We had parmesan herb potatoes (baked), magnificent blueberry muffins (so the cookbook claims) and creamy scrambled eggs. Enjoying cooking and then eating a yummy brunch almost seems like it should be a sin...

However, after my very long morning I was more than ready to relax and even was out for about an hour. I found out later that someone had the brilliant idea of napping outdoors. If I'd had known it was almost 50 degrees, I would've done it myself! (Although probably paranoid about the chickens...) I found out when we went to the concert given at the hall today. It was advertised as starting a half an hour earlier than it did, so I had time to chat and soak up some sunshine. It was stupendous. The music was also fantastic. There was an amazing violinist (who I found out is actually a member of Mother Fletcher, but I didn't recognize with his hair smoothed down), a good guitarist and cello player, and a fantastic pianist. There were also two very short skits, which had some good humor but were (as we were warned) still very much in the rough. The music was all original composition and the second and second to last pieces were very moving. An excellent afternoon.

We split up the house for dinner and I went down to one of the neighbor's houses with the guys. I found out they eat a half-hour later than us and the other house, so I got to sit and chat with most of the other villagers. They also have their personalities and one is quite the kidder. He was talking about how he should marry the cat (he'd also decided to be a werewolf...) and then told the guy sitting next to me - a younger fellow who'd been teasing me and telling me wrong and impossible answers to my basic questions ("I'm 98!!) - that he should marry me. I know, I know, an on-going theme, right?
Anyhow, here's how that conversation went, with me and the two guys:

1: "You gonna marry Steph!"
2: "Hahaha. No!"
Me: "That's right, he's a swinging young bachelor - no woman to tie him down!"
2: "Tie YOU down! Someone get me some string!"
Me: "Tie me down? No, no. Why would you do that?"
2: "I'd tie you to a tree!! You'd get eaten! Hahaha! String! String!"
1: "Don't worry! We'd save you!"
2: "No they wouldn't. I'd stand in front of you!"

So, no nocturnal walks past their house....

Hope all is well,

Saturday, March 6, 2010

NYC and Pingpong

Hi all,

I didn't get back until about midnight last night, and I was WAY too zonked to post. Hopefully this picture of Dusty with a FAO Schwarz giraffe makes up for it. He's six and a half feet, so that should put it into perspective. Luckily, since my brothers are pretty tall, I'm used to keeping up with long legs. Dusty's also a shopper - at least a window shopper in NYC. We stopped in Hilfiger, Abercrombie and Fitch, Lacoste, Zara, H &M, Levi, Hollister and a few more. I'm discovering more and more every day about how low maintenance I really am!

We wanted to check out the Museum of Natural History and the Botanical Garden, but since Dusty was going to meet up with someone at 2 for lunch (and we didn't get in until about 11) our day was too split up. So we did the shopping in the morning and met a very late co-worker who was coming back from vacation. While standing around in Grand Central Station, we noticed the paparazzi. I'd seen a sign for parking for "Gossip Girls" and apparently we could just see them filming from the balcony on one side. Some girl ran up and squealed to us that it was them. There is no picture, because I don't give a damn. Erm, yeah.

Since she was so late, (and we had to go to her hostel since she was staying the city for a few more days with her sister and friend...) we thus ate a very late lunch. We debated on whether or not to try to find the Botanical Garden and decided that even an hour and a half would be nice. By the time we got to the subway stop it was down to an hour. Then we walked in the wrong direction for 45 minutes (um, about that...sorry....). And although we didn't see the building on fire that had about 30 firetrucks and 3 helicopters, we did eventually find the garden. It has very nice gates.

We then decided to pick up something to eat for the train ride back, but found ourselves in a grocery store where we were the only Caucasians. This was a first for me in an American grocery store. It also didn't have a bakery. We ended up going back to Time's Square (yay for Hershey's and M&M World! Yum.) and then wasting some time picking up some dinner at Grand Central and got on the train completely exhausted. I phoned my parents to let them know I survived, and decided NYC in one day is just not a good idea. Also, although I'm growing fond of Dusty with his amiable personality, there's no way I ever want to do that much shopping ever again.

I slept through the night like a rock, but was reasonably well rested this morning. Housemom and the kids left by 10, so housedad and I ran the cleaning project and I did lunch. We went out to a neighboring associated community and used their "rec hall". Beau was kind of standing around with a basketball. On a whim I asked if he wanted to play pingpong.

He LOVED it.

He literally was in paroxysms of laughter. He would lay the ball on the table and then kind of slice at it and about 50% of the time it would whip right over the net in a deadly trajectory. When the ball bounced off the table he would chase it with glee and chuckle loudly when he tried to pounce on it and it'd escape. He even dove a few times, and as a guy over 50, that's pretty impressive! At the height of these dramatics he was shushing an invisible crowd and even asking:
Each time before he whipped it at me. We'll definitely have to go back every once in a while, as it's the most animated and excited I've seen him so far. He even said thank you and goodbye to the building as we left! I myself laughed long and hard with him, his joy was contagious.

We got back in time to get ready for dinner, only to have one of the neighbormoms come over and express surprise that we weren't going over to their house. Apparently this was an arrangement that housemom failed to notify us of. We thought it was kind of pointless, as we were practically ready and we were sending people over the next night. It was also slightly insulting, I mean, do they think we can't manage at all without housemom?!? Especially with the kids gone!!!

Oh well, day one was survived. Although I had a small incident with one of the chickens (the non-dominant rooster...the dominant one ran back inside after I told him that being eaten by a fox would effectively end his sex life...), that went find as well. I think you might have to raise one in order to get attached. Which is good, because housemom said I could have a chick, and I'm excited to call him/her nugget. : p

Hope all is well,

PS My only souvenir for myself was a package of Sixlets...yum

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In A Completely Non-Bisexual Way...

Hi all,

I really enjoy my housemother, but sometimes she can really catch me by surprise. She told me she can micro-manage, so all I have to do (like when she was going to do my dishes when I stepped away for 1 minute to stir my saute) is say "housemom..." and lift my eyebrows and she usually gets it. She's a compulsive straightener, so I know she's trying.

Anyhow, today we had to drop off the van at the repair shop to get the oil changed. I met her there in a borrowed car (haven't decided if I'm smitten or only intrigued with the Priuses). As I was driving her back, she hesitantly asked if she could ask me something, on a completely un-job related topic. (She was also afraid it might be illegal...and assured me that I didn't have to answer...).

"Sure, go for it."
(You know, shy me.)
"Well, are you....are you bisexual?"
(Totally not what I was expecting...vague village rumors of who I might be interested/interested in me, perhaps, but this was out of left field!)
"Um, well, no. I do believe that sexuality is a fluid concept and I fully support those who have different views on it, but I've never been sexually attracted to a woman before, so I'm pretty sure I'm 100% straight...."
"Oh! Ok. I was just going to say, that we're so supportive here - and I just wanted to let you know that I would support you, if you were."


(Because, really, what do you say to that??)

"Um, why do you ask, out of curiousity?"
"Oh, just some things you've said."
(Like WHAT???? I really hope this isn't about that swimsuit edition that lived under my bed lately...maybe something from science fiction?? I'm at a complete loss, and she couldn't name anything in particular.)

So that was a fun car ride home.

Honestly though, it's nice to know that she would be supportive of me no matter what my orientation is, but I can't help but to tease her a bit about it now. Also, I might've (in a bit of a fit of reciprocity shock-factor) informed her what a MILF is. That was funny.

Anyhow, as I told her I'm going to go and hang out with Bean, I helpfully clarified for her:
"In a completely non-bisexual way, of course."

I can be so helpful.

Hope all is well,

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Always Look Before You Sit

Hi all,

This has become a sort of mantra for me. I SWEAR I wipe down the toilet and sinks every day, and most days multiple times. (Thank God we use Clorox wipes!) It ranges from a lack of aim, to much more unpleasant surprises. Not that the fun necessarily stops there, but I'll let you use your imagination.

On a more pleasant note, I totally got a sweet package today. My friend T sent it after she got the birthday card (I sent it EARLY!!!!!!!), and I ironically got it on HER birthday. I don't think there's anything better than getting mail. Honestly. It really made my day!

Tonight during dinner I was sharing about my awesome package, and mentioned it had an outfit in it. Maria blurted out "Is it a CINDERELLA DRESS?!?!" Obviously, this would have been her first choice. Although, honestly, I probably wouldn't have minded one either. Perfect for the Cupcake Ball, as housedad remarked. Perhaps in my next package? : p

Yesterday I had lunch at the cafe, and I ALWAYS have the "interesting" table. I thought it was going to be a really good bunch though. I had 2 people who don't talk much, balanced by Maria and 2 other rather vocal people. One of them started freaking out about someone at another table supposedly staring at her, but I got her to calm down and thought it'd be smooth sailing.
Now, one of the guys at the table likes to tell every woman that they're cute and then tell them they should get married. Here was our table conversation:
"Hey! You're so cute! You should get married"
"Well, you know, everytime I catch one he runs away!"
"Hey! You should get a boyfriend!"
"I don't want-"
"You should date Jonathan!"
"Oh, no...You see-"
(Jonathan happened to be the only co-worker sitting at a table nearest to us, so it was a completely random happenstance.)
And this is where a third person chimed in:
"Jonathan Wants Steph! JONATHAN WANTS STEPH!!"
This was quickly taken up by all the verbal people at the table.

I have to admit, it was rather mortifying, and I'm sure that Jonathan heard. Obviously, this isn't anything shocking - we've had much more interesting outbursts - but I'd have wondered if I'd heard that about myself - and how on Earth it became a topic at my table! Definitely ready to leave after that lunch...

Also, today was millet day so I borrowed a cup of quinoa from the neighbors and made an "herb casserole" which housedad viewed rather dubiously when he came in late - labeling it "birdfeed". Housemom didn't help much by referring to it multiple times as "interesting". It was rather dill-ish (2/3 cups!!!) and the avocado vinaigrette was a little overpowering. He ended up liking it, but it was a split crowd. It was also extremely green.

Hope all is well,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Table Talk

Hi all,

I realized I forgot to tell a story from last week. We had my favorite dinner guest over and we were trying out the hummus that food processing had made. At first I thought my little brain was pulling tricks on me, but then after 2-3 repeats it clicked that what I was hearing was actually correct.
Every time she asked for the hummus she said "Bahummus!" I was really tempted to ask if she thought there were some islands by the same name. But I somehow restrained myself.

Tonight we had Sunny over for dinner. She's a gabber, although she was quite disappointed because our old male co-worker was her favorite. Halfway through a discussion on voting she decided to break into the convo to talk about how she'd cried because he left. And how he had probably cried too. Undaunted by the non-reaction to her post, she decided to target me (as I was oh-so-convienently placed across from her). She likes to flatter people and this was no exception:
"You're so CUTE!"
"Thanks Sunny, you're cute too."
"You're so CUTE!"
"...You're so cute I could eat you up!"
*Blank look*
"Uh...what did you just say? I did not hear..."
"I said, You're so cute I could eat you up!"
"OK! Eat me up!"

How do you respond to that?

I was quite dismayed this morning to find out that housemom had decided I should take Friday off. I finally start to get know people and get included into events, only to get a day when everyone is working?!? I mean, it'd only be the once, because she'd be out of town and otherwise I wouldn't get ANY time off. However, I thought I could probably ask for a weekend sometime then. Anyhow, she seemed pretty determined I should accept this offer and I was mulling it over as I returned an umbrella. When I mentioned it in casual conversation I was told that another co-worker also had the day off. However, he already had go into NYC. I got invited to go along, and after determining that I wasn't actually crashing concrete plans I agreed.

I hold no certain awe of NYC, as the last time I was there (thanks for that highly traumatic illegal cab ride, mom and dad...) wasn't exactly all so reassuring. The Museum of Natural History was really sweet though. However, even if we just end up wandering around (hopefully the weather will be nice?) it'll still be better than being trapped in my room!

I also decided last-minute to make a run into Hudson to go to the only thing open (ie, Wal-mart) for a few ingredients for a cake I'll need to make and a few household items. After announcing my grand plan on FB - and asking if anyone else wanted to go, and not getting any response - I realized that I actually don't exactly know how to get there on my own. So I may not go tonight afterall...It's not cowardice, but an hour by myself with the possibility of getting lost in the dark holds very little appeal for me. So maybe it is cowardice. Meh.

Hope all is well,

Monday, March 1, 2010


Hi all,

I wasn't really looking forward to orientation class today. Our main instructor wasn't going to be there, but he'd invited two people to come in and give a brief overview on Anthroposophy and answer questions. He also said that anyone going on the sap run was ok to miss.

So only 3 other people (plus the secondary instructor who had no idea of what was going on...) showed up. As soon as they started with talking about how it believes in reincarnation (after spiritual journeys and only as humans...) I decided the only possible way to get through it would to be to treat it as an academic exercise. So I asked questions, and it got more and more convoluted to me. At one point he started discussing the effects on different areas that it'd had. For his specialty (he's Swiss) it's banking - big surprise?

Anyhow, he said:
"So, the first thing a bank needs to do is find out where the money is coming from."
"Um, isn't that kind of a ironic purpose for a bank in Switzerland to have?"

I mean, really.

Luckily, he realized the humor in it too, but it was funny because he was discussing low interest, not paying the CEO's the big bucks...etc. However, he'd somehow never heard of microloans. So I was a bit mystified about exactly what they were going for. There are these little cultural hot-spots of Anthroposophy, and I guess that he came from one of them.

It was definitely a LONG afternoon, but could've been a lot worse.

Anyhow, I'm finally going to post the pictures I took last week when we got the snow (above and below...). The South Koreans actually went out and dedicated-ly took pictures. I, however, just took some from my room window. Yup. Lazy....

Hope all is well,