Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fingers crossed I didn't kill a kitty...

Branden is starting to feel a lot better and our housemate is scratching less and less so things are looking good for our house. With me being home and taking care of things, I've been able to be quite productive this week as well. We've got a freezer in our laundry room that we all share but there has been so much frost build up over time that the top two racks were unusable...except for the package of beef mince that has been 'snowed in' to the top shelf since before we moved in back in March 2011. Over the weekend, I noticed that the ice buildup became so bad that the freezer door wouldn't shut, causing more frost build up than ever. I hacked away at it with a metal spatula until I could close the door and then plotted the demise of the rest of the ice.

Being at home, and having some men around to help, we tackled defrosting the freezer on Tuesday. Armed with a mini hammer, butter knife, and my metal spatula, the boys brought the freezer into the back garden where I hacked away and the housemate doused it in lukewarm water. It must have taken over an hour until I finally go the nasty beef package chiseled/melted out, and it was nastier than I thought. Placing it on the outside kitchen windowsill, I continued my scourge on the ice and about another hour into it, we finished the job!

It's amazing how much more room is available now, which is good since our bored but itchy housemate drove us to the big grocery store yesterday so we could stock back up on stuff. For his kindness and his time, I made a big pot of beef stew for all of us for dinner. While we were in the kitchen though, we all of a sudden noticed the neighbor's black kitten on our windowsill outside! The calico female has somehow managed to jump into our back garden (8ft walls and all!) but the black one is much more skittish and even though he purrs very loudly when I give him his cheese, he will not let me pet him at all. I couldn't figure out what he was doing and why he wasn't freaking out over 3 of us looking closely at him through the window. Then I saw him pick up a package...the nasty, who knows how old, beef mince package!

I ran outside, causing him to hide behind our shed, and grabbed the disgusting loaf of 'meat' that had fallen out of it's package then swiftly took it out front to the garbage bin. It didn't look like the kitty ate any of it, but then again, I didn't particularly want to analyze a loaf of meat that possibly had been around longer than I had!

Hopefully the kitty hasn't been poisoned by who knows what bacteria lived on that loaf, but when I got my cheese and went back out to the back garden, he and his calico sister seemed to both be fine (and wandering around on the ground which is new!). He still won't let me touch him, but for some reason if I am wearing my glasses when he's on the wall, he will try and bat at them with his paw. Maybe he doesn't thing they look so good on me, but last time he did this, I took my glasses off and let him sniff them. He was intrigued, but I just can't figure out what his deal is with them. Cats can be so weird! ...I just hope I didn't kill one!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dumb Ways to Die

Thanksgiving is done and dusted but I already decorated our room for Christmas two weeks ago so bring on the festivities! Branden and I have been enjoying our first minced pies of the season as well as some yummy mulled wine. We also had some leftover sweet potato casserole, which didn't turn out as well as last year's, but I mashed it all up and mixed it with some light cream cheese to make it taste like sweet potato cheesecake. Then I took some little glass ramekins, filled them about 3/4 up with the warmed up mixture then topped it with little marshmallows (I actually cut big ones in half) and popped them under the grill until the marshmallows were nice and golden. It was so tasty and incredibly easy!

My friend Jo cooked most of the Thanksgiving feast and her pecan pie was out of this world amazing! Jo also was the one to share this video with me that I am sharing with all of you for my Music Monday. It was made by the Melbourne Metro and is hysterically brilliant. This may just be my new favorite comedy song as I've always have a bit of a dark side to my humor.

Their website for this song is really funny and you can check it out by clicking HERE

I have been terrible at getting around to everyone lately which is a combo of being busy and also my blog feed randomly omitting some blogs and bloggers even though I follow them and haven't changed any settings...irg! Branden seems to be getting sick as well so I'll be busy trying to get him better as soon as possible since he has another chapter of his PhD due in a couple of weeks (and a chapter is around 20,000 words). Hopefully I don't get it as then I will be even more behind than I already am! Oh well, at least both of us had chicken pox as kids or else we would have to worry about that since one of our housemates recently broke out in it.

Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

And so it starts...

It's wonderful to visit Blogland and read about everyone's great things that they are thankful for! Today, I am going to share what I am NOT thankful for! Something happened to me so sinister, and so evil, that it's taken me this long to collect myself and tell the tale. This is very difficult for me to open up about and very difficult for me to process.

Last week I was getting ready to walk into town to see Branden after work and do some shopping. I went into the bathroom to fix my hair when I notice how shiny my hair looked and in particular, one specific hair... My mind raced, my heart began to hope against the fear rising inside of me, and I desperately tried to single out the extremely shiny hair. Finally I grasped it and pulled! To my shock and horror, I was holding a silver hair that came from the top of my head! So much went through my brain, "But I don't have children! I'm not even 30! I sleep in till 10am every day and don't have a stressful job! My husband is only 25!!!".

As unforgiving as this bodily uprising is, I do tend to try and find a positive in all negative things. The silver hair had a bit of curl or wave to it so maybe I won't be stuck with stick strait hair forever...but that still doesn't make me feel any better!

I do have a lot to be thankful for, but this is my Padded Cell after all, so I am allowed to be a bit backwards!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Autumn Walks in Cork

Last time I gave you all a feast for your eyes with photos from the area I am from in America. Today I'm sharing a bit of Autumn in the area around our house. Branden and I managed to find a bit of time in our crazy week to go on a walk which was wonderful in the cold, crisp air.

We also found a bit of time to sing together. After discovering this song recently, Branden busted out his ukelele and learned to play this adorable song.

The verses are perfectly us even if the chorus isn't quite as much. Sure it would be nice to buy our parents homes in the South of France but getting rich isn't exactly something we look at as a goal. Yes we would love to have a house some day but we don't want a big one...someone has to clean it! Money can't buy you happiness, give you freedom, or make your marriage better. We've gone our entire marriage with hardly any of it and I think it's removed the clutter of unimportant stuff and kept us focused on what really matters, each other. We've never fought about money and it is true that some things would be a bit easier if we had a bit more at times, but I feel extremely blessed by our situation and how strong it's made our marriage. I may have loved Branden with all that I could on the day I married him, but it seems minuscule in comparison to how much I love him now, over 3 years later.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Living in Beauty

I am very grateful to live in such a beautiful country. Ireland is truly gorgeous but I also was spoiled by incredible landscape where I grew up in Washington State. I grew up in a house with an unspoiled panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains on my back doorstep. Recently I looked back on some of my photos from when I lived in my tiny little hometown and some of the gorgeous sites that I used to visit. Some of these are in Canada which was fairly close.

Olympic Mountains from Hurricane Ridge 

 Hurricane Ridge

A park in Victoria, BC 

The Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, BC 

Railroad Bridge Park 

Railroad Bridge Park 

The beach at Kalaloch along the Pacific Ocean

Ruby Beach 

My favorite place in my hometown and where I wrote my vows, a cemetery

Fiery clouds above the mountains at sunset

I am very grateful to be in Ireland since I was so spoiled to grow up surrounded by such fantastic landscape. Since I was so close to mountains and ocean, I could never live landlocked or on flat plains. Thankfully Ireland has a good mix of landscape and I love that my future children will grow up surrounded by gorgeous geography like I did...even if it's different.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Circus Cats

Last week is done and dusted and I survived! It was a good week but there were a lot of things going on, I was an emotional wreck, and I had to wake up before 10am almost every day!!! Don't worry, I'm making up for it, starting with this morning when I woke up at 11:40am.

My head is still a bit thrashed so it may take me a bit to get my writing groove back so I'm just going to throw a video at you and hope it keeps you entertained for a while (see, I have mothering instincts!). When I saw this video, I dubbed it "The most patient animal trainers in the world!" and I think you will agree!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Translation or Proposition?

This morning found me wandering the streets with my friend Jo, looking for a homeless man that we were trying to give a manicure to. I suppose that sentence needs some explanation and background information.

Yesterday Jo saw one of the homeless guys that we used to regularly see when we were doing our homeless run (which we're trying to start back up). He's from Poland and he's tugged at all of our heart strings as he is such a gracious man who just wants to find work. Jo took him to lunch and tried talking to him with the 5 words of English he seems to know and she noticed his fingernails were extremely long and needed to be trimmed. She tried to communicate to him that she wanted to trim his nails but it wasn't getting through and it came down to him saying that he would be at 'his spot' tomorrow if she wanted to see him again.

She had phoned me to see if I would go with her and I was happy to go and see him again. Branden also just bought his new winter coat so we decided to give the man his old waterproof Colombia coat. Before I left for Jo's, she sent me a text saying, " I am using google translate to explain to *homeless guy's name* what Maggie and I want to do (cut his nails). Thank goodness I re-translated back into English. First time had "temptations with hand cream". Got to get the word "temptations" outta there. No fantasies with hand cream. Second time had me applying the cream for cancer! (how did hand cream become so deadly) Oh Lord, please let the right message go out. Has me in stitches anyway."

I was in tears reading this to Branden! The homeless guy has always been respectful to us women so I could imagine him blushing terribly and being very embarrassed if we handed him a note, our faces beaming with smiles, and him reading that we have temptations with hand cream! We loaded Jo's bike trailer with some apples, hot chocolate, hot water, bowl, towel, soap, and Mary Kay's Satin Hands. Jo and I ended up going to 'his spot' and he wasn't there so we wandered around the typical places in town we have seen him or would expect him to be, but still no sign. We did managed to give two guys begging on the streets some hot chocolate and being such a cold day, we at least felt like we helped someone. As we headed back home, we ran into an old friend of Jo's who is Polish and he read our note...and told us to never use google translate! I gave him a pen and he edited the note for us. Apparently the word used for 'cutting his nails' needed to be changed to 'trimmed' as the word on the note meant to cut off completely, or sever! Maybe it was a good thing we didn't find him!

Oh well, we tried, and I'll carry Branden's old coat with me in case I run into him sometime. I would just advise all of you to be careful trusting online translation programs as you may find yourself in quite the blush worthy scenario!

As promised yesterday, here is the video we made for Hunter's birthday. Branden did pretty much everything to make the robot head...and he had way too much fun making it! Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Savoring the Silliness

Branden's preparing to start writing his next big chapter in his PhD which means his vocabulary will become unintelligible intellectual beyond all reason. He usually has me read over his stuff to edit it, but my editing is basically limited to inserting commas and making sure his tense is consistent. Half the time, I think he's just making up big sounding words which he totally is and the words slip out over our conversations while he's doing his writings. Because of this, I am taking every silly things he says and savoring it! Like this brief conversation the other day:

Me: Oh, Adele apparently had her baby.

Branden: Well that was fast!

Me:, I'm pretty sure it was 9 months, like most pregnancies...

*we both crack up laughing

I love that Branden is intellectual but also very down to earth and weird...if he wasn't weird then our bizarre family birthday videos would be a lot more boring! Today we are making one for our oldest nephew, my first baby, and it should be fun! We've got some costume construction to do but I should be able to share the video tomorrow.

And now for a big announcement:

We weren't going to put it on blogger as we were trying to keep it quiet as long as possible but we figured most people have already worked it out themselves so to clear up all rumors & make it official yes we are expecting. 8 weeks from today. I'm shocked too!! I can't believe it myself. I mean who would have guessed that were expecting SANTA 8 weeks from now!?!

Hehehe, Branden saw that on a friend's Facebook status and I just HAD to steal it! ...I may have had a few people up in arms after posting it  ;)  But in all seriousness, what would our kids be like??