Monthly Archives: December 2007

year-end recap

Oh, some stuff happened. We got a cat. Then we got another one. DrBob got a job (hey, that rhymes!), the Sniglet started first grade, Ignatz started Tae Kwon Do. I… um. Well, I’m a wife and mother, I seek validation through the achievements of my spouse and offspring.

Okay, not really. Continue reading


small culture shock

Oh, this is awkward. Only for me, but still. An uncle-in-law is dying, which is the usual bummer that a death in the family is. But beyond that, I like this uncle and his family, and there is literally nothing I can do. No really, literally nothing. In the States, there would be little things. I’d send flowers or a card, I might call the wife or son and say how sorry I am, and if there’s anything I can do, please let me know, but here, none of that is appropriate. It’s just not done. And I don’t want to step on any cultural toes, so I won’t do or say anything, but it just feels wrong to me. Like I’m telegraphing indifference. Of course nobody here would see it that way, but I’m still operating on American assumptions, so I’m uncomfortable. Awkward.

Speaking of awkward, today’s song du jour is Frank Sinatra’s rendition of Old Man River. Seriously. What was he thinking?


the dratted fondue set

I know, I’m a horrible, ungrateful wretch, but oh, God. Does anyone else have in-laws like this? They have a damn fondue set, and Ignatz wanted to try fondue, so we asked if we could borrow it for Christmas dinner – one night out of the whole year, when they’d be at our house anyway, so we knew they wouldn’t be needing it themselves – and they bought us a new one. They did the same thing when we asked to borrow the extra coffee maker that they never use, and the little stand that you put a candle in to keep the teapot warm. Every time, they say theirs is not good enough for some reason (the tea-thing was too old-fashioned-looking to borrow for a few days – who freaking cares?), and we shouldn’t worry, because the new one didn’t cost very much. But (do I even need to explain this?) it’s not the money, it is the lovely lots of space in our beautiful house that they are gradually filling up with dust-collecting crap that we won’t hardly ever use. Continue reading


Christmas was fine

All (both) my kids are school-age now, so of course my thoughts are drifting toward college, and the skills they’ll need to do well there. It’s never too early to start preparing, so for Christmas this year they got a foozball table and a poker set. By the time they have to go, they’ll be ready. Continue reading


Eat your heart out, Martha

Alternative title: Laugh your ass off, Martha.

I actually managed to get my act together enough to make cookies! Really! And the spice-bombs turned out just right. The lemon cookies… um. Well, there was a little too much yellow food coloring in the icing, and the only sprinkles we have are green, so I guess we’re Packers fans, just for this Christmas. They taste okay, though. The cookies, I mean. Not (necessarily) the Packers.

As for the chocolate chip “cookies,” well, there were alternate instructions for making bar cookies, but of course the pan I used wasn’t exactly the dimensions the recipe called for, and I still haven’t quite figured out how to compensate for the ways that German ovens are different from American ones, so after following the baking instructions we had very sweet, very gooey slime. Another fifty-hundred minutes on lower heat, and we had… slightly denser slime. Yuck.

As a mother-son bonding experience, it was unbeatable. In terms of generating usable cookies, it was… less so. The in-laws will be hugely impressed, though, re “Wow, you know where your oven is? We had no idea!”

Song du jour of the day: Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, by Meat Loaf.


Kitty’s first Christmas

When we decided to get a cat, I sort of forgot to consider how this would affect our Christmas tree plans (who thinks about Christmas in June? No, don’t answer that. If you’re that organized, I don’t want to know about it.). Kitties. Christmas trees. Shiny things. Bouncy things. This cannot go well.

So I thought back to how I dealt with a newly ambulant, intensely curious toddler-Ignatz at Christmas – he howled when I put him in the playpen, but he wouldn’t leave the Christmas tree alone, so I put the tree in the playpen. We don’t have a playpen anymore, and I doubt it would stop these cats, so I thought maybe we could hang the tree from the ceiling. DrBob pointed out that the tippy-top of the tree is not sturdy enough, so we’d have to hang it upside down. I said I could live with that. He said you know, hanging it up there won’t stop them wanting it. I said I know! And they’ll jump, and they’ll jump, but they’ll never be able to reach it! That’ll be good for weeks of entertainment!

He walked away, muttering and shaking his head. That means no, right?

So, y’all have cats, some of you. Any suggestions?

Song du jour of the day: Deck the Halls, by Bing Crosby.


bring on the Christmas!

So Ignatz’s birthday seems to have been a success. It was also the day of another massive Tae Kwon Do test – seriously, there must have been hundreds of people there. He got his yellow belt, and we are very proud of him. I may even have filmed the event with the teeny camcorder we gave him, but I haven’t found the time to figure out how to get it out of the camera and then onto the internet. Or I may not have filmed it, if I pushed the wrong button or something.

Anyway, after the test we came home and friends of his came over and I made a burrito-buffet (man, can tween boys eat a lot) and they made a lot of noise and much fun seems to have been had. Some of it carried over to this morning, since a couple of guests stayed overnight.

So now it’s the 16th, which means we can start thinking about Christmas! Which is yay! Because we have a lot to think about…we went to the Christmas market this evening, and then came home and played poker with the nifty metal suitcase poker set that was another birthday present. I kicked their butts, of course. Heh.

Song du jour of the day: Baby, It’s Cold Outside, by, well, pretty much everyone.