Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Okay, please allow me 5 minutes to post a very big whine!

Can someone please explain to me why a modern society cannot figure out that windows should come with screens on them! It makes me crazy. Every time that I mention this little "issue" to my Danish family they tell me that I can buy something at Sylvan or Bauhaus that I can attach to my windows with Velcro, etc. Obviously, this is coming from people who have never lived with built-in screens.

I did a bit of research after spotting an ad one day for "Insektnet - med pollenfilter". It looked like a dream come true - finally, someone gets it! Well, their product would be the dream come true, if they got the price down to a reasonable level. I can't even begin to calculate what it would cost to put screens on every window and door of this house.

So, for the time being, in this little heat wave we're having - I am instead taking time to whine about these DAMN flies that keep divebombing me!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Birthday Gift

A couple of weeks ago, Ole asked me what I would like for my birthday. I replied, without hesitation.. "a puppy!"

So, we spent that evening surfing through viewing all the pups. We have a black labrador already, so I decided to search for a golden retriever as it has always been one of my favorite breeds. While searching, we came across some very interesting puppies. Their mom is a purebred golden retriever and their father looks like a black labrador. But - apparently dad was hiding some german shepard genes and that led to some puppies with very interesting markings!

We visited the puppies two weeks ago and picked out a little girl. She won't be old enough to come home with us until August 2nd, but today we went to visit her again. Please allow me to introduce Lexi..

I have tons of pictures, of course, but the look on her face in this one is simply priceless. One more week and she gets to come to her new home! :)
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Honey, I told you that way was faster!

How nice of the Danes to point this out!
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Friday, July 25, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things...

No, this won't be about dogs biting or bees stinging, but rather about a few items that I greatly miss from the good ole US of A.

Yep, Hershey's Syrup! You know, the gigantic size bottle that lasts for a long, long time and is always right there when you need it. Oh sure, Denmark has chocolate toppings for your ice cream, but they sell them in these tiny little toothpaste tubes that are gone much too quickly - where is the industrial size Costco container of chocolate sauce? Don't these people have a love of chocolate on everything?

Ahh Lipton! My obsession with iced tea is well known to friends and family. But it can't be just any iced tea - it MUST be this particular type of Lipton Iced Tea - the one with that awful cancer causing substance (only in laboratory rats apparently). Yes, it's saccherine. When I packed my container in November of 2006 for the great move to Denmark, I first called my local grocery store and ordered caseloads of this stuff. I must have it. I purchased 48 bottles of powder (4 cases) and had them loaded up with all my belongings. Now a crisis is arising; I have just opened my last case. There are exactly 9 bottles remaining. What's a girl to do?? I have weighed a full case; it's approximately 14 lbs. so if I can last until my next trip to the states, I should be able to bring along an empty suitcase to fill it with more iced tea. It would weigh less if I took the tea mix out of the glass containers and put it instead in ziploc bags or something, but I fear they would then think I was smuggling drugs in my tea!
And, that brings me to my next item. Ziploc bags. Specifically, freezer bags. On the bright side, I have begun to see some ziploc style bags in the stores. On the downside, they are sold as "airline travel bags" - the quart size for carrying toiletries - not really what I had in mind! And most definitely, not at the price I had in mind. But things do eventually make their way here, so here is hoping for some 'zipper' style bags, for the freezer, and soon!

Ahh, A1 - it is, after all, 'how steak is done'! The danes LOVE their sauces. You haven't seen a display of Knorr sauce until you've been to Bilka. Therein lies a floor to ceiling tower of sauce mix - Bernaise, Bretagne, Hollandaise, Grøn Peber, etc. However, for the most part, these are butter based sauces, meant to be poured all over your meat and potatoes like a brown sauce. This, my friends, is not steak sauce. If you want a steak sauce, the closest you can come is either whiskey sauce, red wine sauce, or HP sauce. HP isn't cutting it for me. Tried the whiskey and red wine sauces too - again, not quite what I had in mind. So, one time while I was in the states, I brought back a small bottle of A1. All was well in my steak world.

However, one day Ole decided to try said sauce, and misunderstood the concept. He poured it all over everything as he would with his beloved Bernaise sauce - and there went my bottle. Therefore, on the most recent trip, it became necessary to buy two large bottles. One is now gone and I'm hoping that bottle #2 will indeed last until the next trip to the states. Perhaps, some Bilka buyer will be brave and suddenly decide to carry it for me - a girl can dream!

Lastly, Infusium 23 Leave-In Treatment. This product did have a starring spot in my missed items. However, that is past tense. As it goes in the cosmetic world, the true makers of this product were bought out by one of the large conglomerates, who, of course, changed the formula. Now, the formula still does wonders for the hair, don't get me wrong, but the problem lay elsewhere. The problem - and it's one that is highly annoying to me - is that Infusium now stains white clothing! It took me over a year to figure out that this was the product causing all these mysterious dots on my white clothes. The reason it took so long was that the change in formula coincided with my move to Denmark, and I had purchased a few bottles prior to moving. I blamed the laundry detergent, my washing machine, the new hair care products I had purchased here - everything except my treasured, much loved, hair-saving Infusium. I was wrong on all of it - sniff - it's the Infusium and so my search has begun for another leave-in treatment that works as well. WAAAAAH!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Birthday Traditions

There is something inherently wrong with the way the Danes celebrate birthdays. Here is the issue... As the person having the birthday, you are not pampered, but rather, you are expected to play hostess to those who want to come to your home and give you birthday wishes.

Last year Ole's mom had a big 'official' birthday party planned. The whole big dinner, dancing thing. Of course that wasn't planned for the actual day of the birthday, but was on a weekend a few days later. But, on the actual day of the birthday everyone went to her house. What amazed me was that here was this woman, on her own birthday, slaving away in the kitchen for all these guests! She made breads and cheeses, coffee, dessert, etc., while everyone else sat in the living room and chatted! I kept thinking - this is no way to celebrate your birthday! She enjoyed it immensely as this was tradition, but from an American viewpoint, a totally skewed tradition!

So yesterday I became a 40 year old. I don't know that it feels any different than 39, but I must admit that the number itself still bothers me. I'll spare you my whine about the various aging issues I've encountered with my body in the past year; except to say that an older friend of mine said simply.. "You're almost 40 right? That's when it all starts!" BAH

I spent the day working as usual, followed by quickly running the vacuum, cleaning up the kitchen, preparing dessert for later...

Ole's parents came by bearing 2 big hortensia plants (aka hydrangea), which was very nice of them as I always love to have something new to add to my garden.  We had coffee (Danes don't go anywhere without having coffee!) and I served dessert. No birthday cake with 40 candles to blow out; just ice cream and strawberries (very tasty, I might add). My sister-in-law and my parents both called to wish me a Happy Birthday later in the evening.

I'll save the details of the bday present I am getting from Ole for another post. All I will say is that I am extremely excited! :)

Here's to being 40-something!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I dag er min fødselsdag!

Happy Birthday to me!

(more on this topic later this evening)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A town by any other name

Go ahead, look up the word "tarm" in your Danish to English dictionary...
Oh, you don't have one of those? Allow me:

tarm: intestine

Yes, that's right. I guess when the town is named after this particular organ, you must then add something really splashy to the town entrances to make it attractive to those who may pass by!
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Wait 5 minutes..

It seems pretty much anywhere you visit, except perhaps in Aruba, the natives are famous for saying.. "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change."

But in most places, that really isn't the case at all. However, in Denmark - the saying hits the nail on the head! I have never lived or visited any other place where the weather changes so quickly. The wind is always blowing something in - sometimes good, often bad, but it just keeps coming and keeps changing. I can sit at my desk for an entire day and depending on which 5 minutes in the day you ask me about the weather, chances are my answer will change. I have seen severe thunderstorms after bright sunshine, hot, cold, hot, cold, sun, rain, sun, rain - each time you glance out the window you're in for surprise.

Check outside; weather is gorgeous! Say to myself - I really should get out and do something! What a perfect time to pluck those pesky weeds from the garden. By the time I've gone to my closet and changed into appropriate clothing and shoes, my gorgeous day has now vanished and it's raining. But if I actually go change my clothes and give up on the idea, then of course that gorgeous sunshine will be there again.

As Ole likes to say... "that guy Murphy again."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's a small world after all

We've had a house on our street that's been for sale for quite some time, and then we noticed it had been sold. Over the last couple of months we have seen a guy coming and going, cutting the lawn, etc., but he appeared to be alone.

Then, about a month or so ago, Ole was out walking Zoe and saw some children playing soccer with a man. That's not news - what is news, however, is that he was sure he heard them speaking English - American English. So we started to wonder if perhaps this could have something to do with the house that had been sold?

I love dogs, and I love to see Zoe play with other dogs, so much so that if I'm out walking Zoe, and spot a dog somewhere, I will alter my route so that we can say hello to said dog. Or, if we're out at the hundeskov getting close to leaving, and I see a dog coming in, or hear a dog on another trail, we are no longer leaving. This behavior has led Ole to calling me a dog stalker.

With this behavior in mind, it suddenly became my mission to find out who exactly had moved into this home on our street. So, that meant we had to walk past the house on our evening walks so that I could either run into these English speaking children, or simply get another clue to the mystery.

Clue #2 - Pontiac TransAm parked in the driveway. This is not a car you see often in Denmark. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, pretty much never. And, on the driver's side in the bottom corner of the windshield, there lay a few stickers - this is how many states in the US display the car's registration. I was on to something!

A few days later, out with Zoe again, I saw and heard the two little girls. By this time, I just had to know! So I walked over to them and asked them if I had heard them speaking English and indeed they were. They told me that at the moment, they were just visiting, but that they were moving here in 2 weeks. Weeee! I now had facts, even if those facts did come from an 8-year old source! (my guess on the age).

The bike trail that we typically walk on runs right behind said house. And we were out walking with Zoe again one evening a few days later. We ran into one of Zoe's doggie friends so Zoe and Molly were running around chasing one another as we chatted with Molly's dad. As we chatted, we hear a very loud 8-year old yelling.. "Look, Mom! There's the husband of the woman I told you about." And from that, we officially met our new American neighbor - an American, from Alabama, married to a Dane.

Seriously, what are the odds in this world that two American women, married to Danes, would end up residing not only in the same small town in Denmark, but on the same street!

It's fun, it's exciting, and it just proves, the world isn't quite so big after all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Where does the time go?

I must officially be the world's worst blogger as I now see that it's been almost 4 months since I last added something. So, as of today, I hereby vow to try - try - to add something more frequently. There are always things running through my head about this wonderful country!

I am pleased to say that my Danish studies are coming along, however, I am not so pleased that for some reason, I still cannot understand what most Danes are saying when they attempt to speak to me. If they slow their speech when I ask, I do get a larger part of it, but I still can't quite grasp it all and I find that incredibly frustrating. I just have to keep telling myself.. it will come!
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