Saturday, August 6, 2011

Paris and Switzerland

I love traveling, but it's always nice to get home to our own house and bed (especially our heavenly bed!!!).

Now for the recap of last month's Swiss/French trip:

Basel, Switzerland
Highlights: Rhine Swimming (Rick did this - I hate being cold, so I watched), sunbathing (with SPF 70, because I'm not a skin cancer fan), National Swiss Day fireworks over the Rhine, and seeing friends!

Lowlight: I was still coughing ALL the time, thanks to the nasty bug that I caught earlier in the week. BOO.

Paris, France
Highlights: Smooching my man over champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower, seeing the Eiffel light show at night, seeing the Catacombs, walking through Notre Dame (again), climbing the tower at the Sacre Coeur, BEING IN EFFING PARIS with my lovey.

Lowlights: I have found Parisians to be nice people for the most part (just a little smelly), but Rick and I found out on this trip that their homeless population is made up of 90% @ssholes. One homeless guy reeled through the line of tourists at the Catacombs, bumping into people hard, and then went on to spit on and kick a teenage kid who was just sitting and minding his own business. Another homeless guy actually HIT a lady on the arm while she walked by! It was just while we were walking by, too, prompting Rick to comment on the future state of any homeless person who did that to me (rhymes with "head).

Chateau Versailles
Highlights: It's Versailles, so..... EVERYTHING was a highlight, even though I'd just been there a month ago.

Lowlights: I would say that the rain was a lowlight, but we had our umbrellas with us, and it's EFFING VERSAILLES, so there were officially no Lowlights.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Welcome to Europe!

I moved to a small city in The Netherlands for my honey's internship.

While its exciting to be actually living in a different country, it's been a bit rough of a start for me.

I was really excited to move somewhere new, and it's nice that Dutch people can speak English (very) well. But I feel like a total jerk for not knowing their language, and I'm not my usual outgoing, talk-to-everyone self. It would certainly be different if I had a job or school here, but that's not the case.

I realized how truly isolated I have felt when I was on the street one day and, to my shock, a woman asked me a question! Sadly, it was in Dutch. So all I could do was shake my head, and say, "Sorry..."

It's like I have put an invisibility cloak on the people around me here. I automatically assume people aren't talking to me (because usually they aren't), which can be embarrassing when shopkeepers try to greet me and I realize it very late.

Things are getting better since I joined an expat group, and thanks to some of R's nice co-workers.

But I do still miss the dogs. They seem to be having a ball at my parent's house back in Seattle. My mom and I Skype almost every day - 3:30pm my time is 6:30am her time, so we chat over coffee before she gets ready for work. She always holds up the dogs or turns the camera on them so that I can see them.

There's generally a new story of what they rolled in the other day - dead bunnies or dead birds on a boom day. But dead worms or bugs are usually are the dead-thing du jour. If there is a big, dead black beetle in the yard, Paris will find it and roll in it, guaranteed.

I finally got around to posting pictures on facebook - some from our brief time in Seattle, and a lot from the European travels of the past month. This set of pictures cracked me up. I was trying to capture the tender moment of my nephew "helping" my mom, "Gan Gancine," to water her garden. I was lucky (?) enough to also capture this little dog story line as well:

Chewy (on the right) finds a Dead Thing in the yard.

Chewy rolls happily in the Dead Thing. Oh happy day!

Not sure what he's doing here, but I think he is sniffing his New Dead Thing Smell.


Monday, December 20, 2010

So very very happy to be home!

After getting home and spending an evening with some of the family (I love getting tackle hugs from Mack), on Thursday morning my dad and I went and bought the most beautiful Christmas tree - perfect shape, and perfect branch-density.

I decorated it all day. I had to start over three times, because I underestimated the amount of lights we needed, so I ended up having to string together four different kinds of lights. And I was trying to mix them up so that our tree didn't have four distinct sections of light.

This is probably our biggest tree ever. And for the first time ever, our tree is downstairs in the rec-room instead of upstairs in the living room. Happily, we need more room for present-opening and family gathering, because our family keeps growing! This tree is, like, 7 feet tall.

The only person that helped me decorate it was Mack, who helped me through encouragement ("You're doing a good job, Aunt Bess," from a 2.5 year-old lifts your spirits like you wouldn't believe), and by telling me which Christmas light colors were his favorite (green and red).

I took a break from the tree when Mack came up to me with one of our tree clippings. "I have my own tree, Aunt Bess." Well, we had to decorate his tree. Then we put it on the mantle with our other Christmas decorations. Beautiful!

Also, my mom (of the storied Boob Cookies) made another Christmas Cookie Memory, she accidentally put two mouse cookies too close together on the baking pan. This is the cookie, post-decorating:

I. Died. So funny.

Favorite things that I have done since being home:

1. Having jump contests with brother Nate, and Mack. Mack always wins.
2. Wrapping Christmas gifts (I love wrapping, and my mom hates it, so I wrap everyone's gifts except the ones for me).
3. Petting Toastie, my parent's cat, and listening to him purr.
4. Laughing at Toastie when he looks disgruntled.
5. Getting tackled by Mack.
6. Watching Mack help Uncle Rick move tree clippings in the yard. He even throws them on the pile just like Uncle Rick, while wearing his little red-checked lumberjack coat and his dad's stocking cap.
7. Shopping with Mom.
8. Practicing knitting, and seeing Paris enjoy my work (as tug-of-war toys).
9. Lighting a fire log in the fireplace.
10. Seeing my family and friends, who I have missed SO MUCH!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ten hours. UGH.

I am FINALLY home in Seattle, but boy was it a trial getting here.

1. Four pieces of luggage, two dog carriers, two carry-ons, and public transportation. We did surprisingly well, but we were both sore the day after. Stupid heavy bags....
2. 10 hours on an airplane. Honestly, I am really impressed that the pups held it for 11 hours. We had them eat and drink a little that morning, but then didn't really give them stuff on the flight.
3. Eight screaming children on the plane. Is it legal to give kids Xanax? I wish.... and that I'd had some to give the kids. Except this one kid, who I would have liked to give a betch slap so she would stop screaming and throwing tantrums and throwing things into our laps.

Wow, it was a LOOOOONG flight.

How bad?

Well, it was worse than coming back from Puerta Vallarta with E-coli and a little kid SCREAMING in the seat in front of us the ENTIRE TIME.

Heck yes. I'll take E-coli over our most recent flight. At least that can be treated (legally).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fish Sex

Today we almost flushed Chewyfish down the toilet.

He was chasing The Brain (now known as "Brazen Hussy" - you'll soon find out why) around the fish tank, biting her, pushing her into the plants...

Chewyfish is normally the boss of the tank, but this was extreme and I was afraid The Brain would stress-overload and die. Rick even reached in the tank and slapped Chewyfish and Pinky (who joined in the chase and pushing) a couple times! LOL.

Sidenote: Who SLAPS a fish???? Well, it's better than the fish that he had in college. It ate or bullied all of his other fish, so he took Jerk Fish out, killed and cleaned him, and fried him up and ate him.

Rick offered to do the flushing but I felt bad - maybe he had fish-rabies, or something like that that could be cured... So I consulted Google.


THAT's what they were up to.

Here I thought The Brain was this poor, innocent victim. I came to realize that she had been putting out her siren-call of pheromones for a while, getting the guys all horny and signaling their bodies to make fish man-juice.

So we didn't flush Chewyfish or Pinky, and that trollop swam around and popped out her little eggies, the boys following close behind. She knew exactly what she was doing, the hussy. I'm really glad we didn't flush her baby-daddies.

I removed the plants in our tank that had eggs on them (goldies lay sticky eggs) and put them in a big vase of water that I took directly from the aquarium, and now the hubs is at Petco getting baby fish food and a fry net-basket. I took out about half of the plant for not very many eggs, but here's hoping we get a few babies. I'll be a fish-grandma!

My black moor with telescopey eyes is obviously a female (now that I know what to look for), so maybe she'll get in the action soon. I'm going to try and get her to make babies with Pinky, my other mature male.

Black Moor, the Future Trollop

Black Moor's Baby Daddy? To be continued...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chair Reno

New cushion and cover, leftovers from other projects.

Antique folding chair- $10.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Now I Can Start Ignoring New England Sports Teams....

...because I am officially a New Englander.

Why? Because this is now my idea of a "cute" winter coat:

Fall weather here in New England is Seattle winter weather. Yikes. I am really going to appreciate this coat. Waterproof, down on the inside, and a super-warm hood to boot.