Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bah Humbug

There are more Christmas updates to come but allow me to interject today's tale.

I woke up quite ill. Ole took the dogs to the other end of the house and I decided to remain in bed - this is something that I never do, but I just couldn't get myself out of that bed. When I finally did get up, it was 12:20 pm, so I stumbled into the shower hoping that it would make me feel human again. It worked, somewhat. However, it used up every ounce of energy that my body could muster up, so after showering, I put myself on the couch and ended up sleeping again for over an hour.

I finally decided that perhaps getting out of the house and into the air may make me feel a bit better so off to the Hundeskov we went. We had a nice walk around the hundeskov but I was running out of steam quickly so we decided to head home. Upon exiting the hundeskov, we found that we now had a flat tire.. argh.

Having before changed this exact tire myself, we thought no biggie, let's just change it and get home. If only life were that simple. The stupid tire would NOT come off the car - we pulled, tugged, pulled, tugged - nothing - it wouldn't budge. Luckily we have Falck, the equivalent of AAA in the states - so we called. And, naturally, they said it could take up to an hour. Waaaa.

The guy did finally arrive, he pounded the tire with a piece of wood and a mallet and eventually the stupid thing came free, the spare was put on, and we were able to come home again.

Now I sit, drinking some juice, hoping to recover from whatever ails me before Monday rolls around.

There is some good news in all of this - since we were just in the states, I do have some Nyquil now so at least I will be able to sleep peacefully tonight. :)

Christmas comes in many parts... part 2

Let's see now - I've covered the doggy and kitty vacation, I've covered our flight day and I've covered our little junket in NYC. But alas, there is more to cover!!

On Christmas Eve we left NYC to head north to my parents and along the way we just had to make a stop at Woodbury Commons Outlets. The place is gigantic and I feared it would be extremely crowded but apparently the crowds were elsewhere as the outlet center was basically empty. The bargains were unreal and we stocked up on all kinds of new clothes, shoes, etc. There is something a bit 'off' in the world when one can purchase Ecco boots, from Denmark, at an outlet center in the US for approximately 1/3 of what you would pay for the same boot here in DK. I LOVE a good bargain!!

We went to my hometown church for the traditional Christmas Eve candlelight service. It's a tradition that I grew up with and one that I miss anytime I cannot attend. As a kid, we went to the 'early' service as we couldn't stay up until midnight for the candlelight ending to the 'late' service - the moment we were permitted to attend the late service for the first time was one of those .. "oh cool!" moments and I have loved it ever since.

I saw many friends at church and we had a chance to say hello to quite a few people - everyone, of course, wants to know how I'm doing in DK, have I learned Danish yet, etc. Our wedding and reception are a bit of church legend - I'm betting it's the one and only time that the minister will ever say "I know pronounce you husband and wife" in DANISH!

Funny story that I must share...
An old friend I grew up with, and someone known to cause trouble at any and all inappropriate moments, was at the service. We sat in front of he and his wife and kids and we'll just say that probably was not the best idea - knowing him as well as I do. The service began with a half hour of music in various forms (handbells, brass quintet, organ, choir, etc.). Most of the music was printed in the church bulletin but apparently the violinist must not have chosen her piece until late as the bulletin said only 'Violin Selection'. Just as she was about to begin, I hear a voice say.. "Devil went down to Georgia". Needless to say, I did everything possible to hold in the giggles. A few times during the remainder of the service I also had pieces of paper land in my lap, whispered comments here and there - you get the picture. Mind you, this is a 40-year old, with his children!! Gotta love him!

We crawled into bed after the service (Ole and I, not the old friend and I!) and managed to get a good night's sleep. Christmas morning we had a delightful breakfast with my mom and dad and then exchanged gifts.

We also spent a good part of the day attempting to get my dad's PC back in working order - something we were told had to be done during our visit.

Christmas evening we headed over to see my closest friend, my "BFF" so to speak (though I have to admit that I never in my life thought I would actually type BFF!).

Ruth and I go back to junior high school - she was and is the one person in the world that will never require explanation - no matter what she does, no matter what I do, we will always be friends. We don't get to speak as often as we should, and this was our first visit since November 2006, but none of that matters. All that matters is that we are the same as we ever were and the moment I saw her it felt like we had just seen one another the week before.

We hung out for a few hours with she and her husband, Mark, had some beer and wine, got caught up, and all that good stuff. We opened some New Year's poppers, a week early, which contained these simply delightful, totally fashionable, paper crowns...

Ole and I; I guess the combination of beer and camera flash caused his eyes to close!

Mark and Ruth; Yes, she'll probably kill me when she sees this picture of herself holding a nacho chip! (Isn't that sofa the prettiest thing ever??)

My prince of denmark :)

Christmas comes in many parts... part 1

I know I'm going backwards in time, but please forgive me, there is just so many things to catch up on before I can close the 2008 chapter and move into 2009 with a clear mind!! In the next few days I will probably be sprinkling the blog with a bit of 'things I meant to blog about and didn't' but we'll get to that later.

Before the trip to NYC, before the hundepension, but shortly after the packing of the cats, we had our own little Christmas at home. Oh sure, we could've waited to open our packages from the DK side of the family until we got back from the US - but what fun is that! We couldn't take the packages with us, it just wasn't practical to do so and besides - there were a few big boxes that were simply calling my name, begging to be opened!!

I hate to write wish lists because I can simply never remember the things I've seen that I would like to have but didn't buy at the time, etc. But this year, I put a little google gadget on my homepage and attempted to add things to it as I thought of them. It was pretty empty, however, when family started asking for the list but I did the best that I could to fill it out a bit and alas, the wish list was a success. :)

My in-laws, Anny and Bruno (don't you love that name, Bruno??, it just demands to be said with gusto!), gave me electric salt and pepper grinders, a new pair of gloves, and one other item that I decided a few weeks ago that I had to have...

In DK, most homes have one of these...

Now I don't really understand the popularity of this type of toaster, nor can I see any practical reason for it, unless perhaps you have a desire to have just one side of your bread toasted. I'm more of a toast both sides kind of girl. I also tend to be a bit of a wreck in the kitchen unless I'm really focusing on the task at hand (Thanksgiving, for example). We do own something similar to the model shown above and we also own a toaster oven, however.. said toaster oven now has a bit of discoloration around the door and from each vent as I managed to make black hockey pucks out of 2 pieces of bread a few weeks ago. It wasn't my fault - really! - the timer didn't go off, I was working at the other end of the house, and by the time I managed to remember I had put some bread in the oven, there was smoke pouring out of every crevice of the pretty white toaster oven - all because it didn't go "DING" when it should have and therefore, didn't shut itself off. Apparently you're supposed to turn it past 5 and then back or something for the timer to activate properly - whatever! I decided then and there that I had use for a toast both sides, pop-up when done, shut itself off, kind of toaster, and yes, I got one for Christmas - yippee!!!

Some girls hate getting kitchen stuff for Christmas - I'm the opposite, I hate the kitchen itself, but I LOVE kitchen gadgets and I love getting new gadgets for Christmas. I think somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind, I am convinced that if I finally find just the right magical kitchen gadget, I will suddenly be the world's most amazing chef, without actually doing any work. Hey - it's a goal!

So, on that note, Ole got me a breadmaker and while it can't solve all my kitchen woahs, it does magically turn a few carefully measured scoops of stuff into a magically delicious loaf of bread in just 3 hours and I didn't have to lift a spoon. :)
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