Sunday, December 31, 2006
I also love that their house is not immaculate, so I feel comfortable inviting them into my home once and awhile. Which is a mélange of dog hair, stacks of books, coffee cups, and piled CDs.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
This evening, Anna and her friend and I played Balderdash, a game where everyone makes up fake definitions of unusual words, and then we try to guess the real definition amongst the fakes. One of the better games out there! Here are a few of the real words that we picked:
wallydrag--the runt of the litter
ghawazee--Egyptian dancing girls
oikofugic--an incredible desire to wander
whiffler--one who clears the way for a procession
bonnyclabber--sour curdled milk
Well, it's off to bed for me. Anyone for a nice warm cup of bonnyclabber first?
Monday, December 25, 2006
For any birth makes an inconvenient demand;
Like all holy things
It is frequently a nuisance, and its needs never end;
Strange freedom it brings: we should welcome release
From its long merciless rehearsal of peace.
So Christ comes
At the iron senseless time, comes
To force the glory into frozen veins:
His warmth wakes
Green life glazed in the pool, wakes
All calm and crystal trance with living pains.
from the poem "Christmas and Common Birth" -- by Anne Ridler
Monday, December 18, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
"Never lose a holy curiousity," Einstein said; and so I lift my microscope down from the shelf, spread a drop of duck pond on the glass slide, and try to look spring in the eye. -- Annie Dillard, from "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek"
Monday, December 11, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Well, Dan, have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Here's a fitting proverb for you..."BUKE BUKE BUKOMEZA IGIHONYI" (Slowly slowly the banana ripens) Found it on Eric Riley's website. Hope you have many more years of ripening!
P.S. For other readers of the blog, Dan is my brother--and currently lives in Burundi, Africa with his family--although one son attends college in Oregon, and two younger sons go to high school in Kenya. So he's experiencing the "empty nest" earlier than most.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Yesterday was St. Nicholas Day here in Germany. The evening before, I was at the store with Anna and her friend, buying supplies, when I spotted a stash of chocolate candy. With no thought for innocent ears, I asked Anna, " Do you want peppermint chocolate in your St. Nicholas boot? Or would you rather I buy dark chocolate? Maybe both?" I didn't realize until Anna pulled me aside a minute later and whispered in my ear, "Mom, Kasie still believes in St. Nicholas..." that I'd pretty much proclaimed to all kids within hearing range: "Santa Claus=Your Parents."
Now, in my defense, Kasie is twelve years old, but she still believes in Santa's existence. I guess she told Anna, "You don't believe in Santa and that's the reason you don't get gifts from him. That's why your mom and dad have to do it." So it seems her faith is unshaken. And Anna is happy too, just as long as the boot is filled one way or another.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
The three sisters -- Beth, Susan & Laurie
An olive farm in Lucca
Dad and Mom with their Nordic walking sticks
Monday, December 04, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Mind you, this from a country that has cigarette vending machines on practically every corner! I've gradually become accustomed to the smoke, but every time friends and family visit, they cough and comment on the thick haze in restaurants and airport halls. So, it is indeed a miracle. Or at least the beginning of one.
I have to mention our tour guide, David Macchi. The first day, I thought, "Oh, he's nice." The second day: "He really knows what he's talking about." And the third day? "Wow!" David began playing opera selections on our bus as we rolled through the countryside (including the songs of Andrea Bocelli, an operatic tenor from Tuscany). Later that afternoon, and for the rest of the tour, David surprised us by singing some opera himself. The combination of music and scenery? Nothing better!
If you know me at all, you'll know that I loved the foods of Italy, too. Visiting all the tiny pasticcerias and formaggio shops--pure heaven. Since I wasn't returning to the States, I brought home some peccorino, chocolate paneforte (a type of almond and honey spice cake) and a bottle of Tuscan wine tucked into my checked suitcase. Maybe I can find a recipe on the web for the paneforte, it would be nice for Christmas. About the only Italian food I wouldn't care to try? Well, that would be tripe. And any related cow organs.