Monday, December 17, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
But I never knew that parent-teacher conferences could also be about the teacher's parents.
I was talking to Betty's parents. (You may already know that I never use my students' real names). I was pretty proud of Betty's grades, and so were her parents. So after discussing her behavior at school we got to talk about how Betty's mom had been a student of my dad's. (Who still teaches music at a different branch of our school.) She talks about how consistent he was, and strict but good. At that point Betty's step-dad says "Music, oh my gosh. Our teacher was horrible, SO strict! Yeah, I'll never forget Mr. M. He was awful."
Betty's mom cringes and elbows her husband, who looks like he's about to start another anecdote on the horrors of playing the recorder. "That's the teacher's father!".
Step-dad shrugs and says: "No he's not, her name is Ms. S!"
"Yeah, just like her husband." mother says, and looks at me apologetically.
Step-dad turns pink.
Betty, her mother and I just laugh..
Thursday, November 29, 2007
No, I didn't come up with it myself.
After finding my own perfect (well, close enough) chicken pot pie recipe, I found the best biscuit recipe to match it. I've tried sooo many biscuits and they never turn out the way I remember them from the United States. But these were pretty close....
For all you non-Americans: biscuits are little bread rolls that are very fluffy and flaky (if you bake them right). They make a great side dish to any oven casserole dish you can think of, and soups as well.
On Allrecipes you can find basically any recipe you want. And, the coolest thing of all: you can have it in Metric or US measurements. No more converting, yeah!!!
OK, big time copy/paste action following (of course in Metric measurements, I am still European):
250 g all-purpose flour
15 g baking powder
6 g salt
10 g white sugar
70 g shortening
235 ml milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I've been thinking and came up with lots of ideas, all of which I dimissed.
- Should I write more about my chicks?
No, they're definitely past the cute stage (actually, they're pretty ugly right now. And noone wants to read three consecutive blogs about chickens. That would be boring.
- Should I share a recipe?
Which one? I haven't thought of any new dishes lately and I've already posted my favorite ones.
- Should I post a Youtube video?
Why? You definitely don't want to do too much of that either.
- Should I write about how my sister-in-law had a baby and I became an auntie for the first time?
No, I don't want to do that. I generally am not a great fan of Hurrah-I-am-an-auntie-and-my-nephew-is-the-cutest-baby-in-the-world-type blogs. Besides, none of my in-laws read my blog (I think) so why bother?
- Should I write about Sinterklaas?
No, I already did that last year.
There's no real exciting news on the remodeling. We're talking to contractors now and waiting for their bids.
- Should I write about my sewing?
No, who cares about that? Besides, this is not a craft blog.
So that left only one option.
I think I'll write about how I don't know what to write about.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Look, now we're chicks with feathers! Out of the ten eggs, nine hatched. One chick died on the second day, so now we have eight little chicks. Four are dark yellow and four are light yellow colored. I wonder what color they'll have once they're grown up...
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
That's where I read this:
'What's that?' Pa exclaimed. 'Who's got watermelons?'
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Last night was the first one: I went to Darlene Zschech and Michael W Smith in a big soccer stadium close to where I live. I had never seen or heard Darlene before, but I did know Michael's music. I have several of his cd's (thanks to Those Crazy Jarboes who introduced me to his music) and had been to one of his concerts before. I was able to sing along to almost everything! Thank goodness the lyrics were projected on the big screens so I had a reminder for the lyrics that I hadn't memorized. Of course I bought one of his new cds (Stand, even though the Christmas cd looked good too.)
It was so cool to hear 15000 people sing along to the songs. Especially "Let it Rain" and "Above All"(video) were really impressive and touching. If he ever comes back to the Netherlands, I'll be there again!
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Of course, five years ago I walked into a VMBO-school ready to take on my first job as a middle school music teacher. I taught in a music/geography room with little or no musical instruments. I'd never taught a thirteen year old before, because I had just graduated from elementary education college. But I was armed and ready to take on whatever came on my way. And boy, did I find a lot!
Teaching music to these teenagers turned out to be a difficult thing. Especially the second years (eighth graders) gave me frequent stomach aches. But every discussion and every problem was a new bit of experience. And now, I find myself free of stomach aches. The kids don't surprise me anymore when they ask if I am pregnant. I now know that whenever I am a little tired and don't think to straighten my back and suck my tummy in, it makes the kids think I'm expecting. So I can reply with a joke and not be shocked. And this is true for so many other things that happen every day or week.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
It's so cool to have the time to take walks after dinner, without constantly thinking either "I have to do this and that assignment, why am I walking instead of working" or "I'm really too tired to walk but it's good for me and will help me get better soon". Tonight, all I had to think about was how beautiful the scenery around our town is, and how lovely the fresh air felt. I could feel that fall is not far away. It gets dark sooner and because it's been rainy, lots of leaves have fallen. But you know what? That's ok.
Soon we'll be closing the curtains before dinner. It'll be apple pie and tea time. I love the coziness of fall. And when we live in the trailer it's bound to be cozy anyway so I might as well enjoy it!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Not alone did I catch a total of only eight hours of sleep in two nights, I also had to be on the alert all the time. Because with a camp house full of twelve year olds, lots of things happen.
Usually, these things are limited to "Mrs. S, Andy stole my shoe and now he won't give it back", "Mrs. S, I can't find my shoe and I promise I looked everywhere!" or "Mrs. S, I need a band-aid because I fell". This time around however, I received some very different complaints: "Mrs. S, George went up the attic (not allowed) and found pancake mix which he dumped all over our sleeping bags". "Mrs S, George is smoking in the orchard" (Of course smoking was not allowed, and the orchard was off-limits to the kids.) Two minutes later: "Mrs. S, George says he wants to sleep with me" (he said what??? he's twelve!), as well as (different girl) "Mrs. S, George tried to choke me but he says he was only kidding".
Needless to say I went and found George, and the other three teachers and I had some serious talks with him. At first he didn't confess anything! But, after only two hours (!) of interrogation he finally fessed up to smoking, and "some other things that you probably don't allow". He had lied and did so many things against the rules that I took him home on Thursday morning.
After that, things quieted down in the camp house. Of course there was some (ok, a lot) of talk about George, but at least everyone agreed that what he did was not ok. And for some reason, the all seemed to want to be good examples after seeing this bad example. The kids were nice and polite, and some even voluntarily took their dirty dishes to the kitchen. There were no kids complaining about boring games (whiny tone: "I don't want to do that, that's stu-pid), and when we had to clean the camp house on Friday morning everyone pitched in. Boy, did we get to know each other!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Thank goodness my mother-in-law was close and was able to kill this horrible creature. Brrrrr!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
My mentor group is a class of first year students (7th graders, for the Americans). Everything is new to them in our school, and most of them don't know any other kids in their class yet. So it's up to me to make them comfortable with each other. I'm really going to try and make them bond, because I want the atmosphere in the class to be as positive as possible, so that when they're settled in and the hormones start acting up there's already a good relationship between the kids.
Yesterday I taught "my" kids 7th period, which was their last period of their very first day of high school. They were so enthusiastic! They told me about how they walked to the gym and it started to rain, how the math teacher's glasses were crooked and how their German teacher told them they would start working when the class didn't have any more questions for him, so they chatted with him all 50 minutes.I think they're cute. And they're my kids!
I sincerely hope they stay this upbeat and happy...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I was having coffee with my mom in law when my dad in law walked in. I was telling the story how I had ridden my bike to some local camp sites to hang up ads asking for a mobile home. Dad in law said he knew someone in town who had one for sale. He called the guy and the two of us went over there (M was at the fire station). He showed us the trailer. It was everything we wanted! It has two bedroom (so we can make one into a closet), seperate shower and toilet areas, a kitchenette (with gas stove and lots of cupboard space), a dining corner and a big couch, and gas heating. It looks old but neat and well taken care of. Unlike so many trailers for sale this one doesn't smell like cigarette smoke and there was no visible fungus. And the best part of it was the price. We were willing to pay no more than €1000, but the guy asked for only 250! And an apple pie, but that was because he said the price was low and so I said ok, I'll bake you an apple pie and we'll seal the deal. So after sealing the deal at 250 I guess the apple pie was part of the deal.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I have a great husband and within a month I received my college diploma, my wedding ring and the offical ownership certificate of our house.
The past few days I've seen that I shouldn't take all this for granted. Blessed and lucky. And grateful. That's what I am.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The girl next door was at our wedding too, with her sister and her mom. They immediately offered to watch the rabbits for us when we were on vacation, because they have a bunny too and a big rabbit hutch. We thought that was a good idea and so there they went. This week they are on vacation, so I'm watching them.
I went over to feed them last night and everything was ok. This morning I went over there to check on them, and the door of the hutch was open and I saw only two rabbits, not three! My little brown bunny (whose name is Worm, because that's his boss's last name) was gone.
I looked around and looked around, but I couldn't find her. I went home and called M, who of course could only advise me to go back and look. The neighbors have a walled garden, so she couldn't go anywhere.And when I went back, she sat underneath the garden table, looking at me! I'm so happy... I put her back with the other two and made sure everything was closed really tightly. Phew, what a relief. I don't know what I would have told the little girl if the bunny hadn't come back. Well, I do know: the truth. But I would've felt really bad about it...
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
- There's confetti everywhere. In the bed, in the oven, in every drawer. In every cup, on every saucer, plate. Between the socks, in the plant pots. Everywhere. Everywhere. Confetti Confetti Confetti...
- Our 1/2 bathroom which had white walls, now has a whole under water scene painted with fish and plants and even a fire truck on it. I'll post pictures when I'm done vacuuming all the confetti confetti confetti away. It's really pretty. Made us wonder why we hadn't thought of that sooner.
- All my books which were sorted in order are mixed up on the bookshelves. And of course on the bookshelves there's also confetti confetti confetti...
- All the picture frames in the whole house were mixed up in random order. All the clocks too, basically everything that was attached to a nail is now on a different nail.
- Our 1/2 bathroom was filled to the ceiling with boxes, which all had something (rock, pine cone) in them. There was also a tower of empty plastic plant containers which of course toppled over as soon as we opened the door.
- All our clothes were put on different shelves. The drawers in our chest of drawers had all been relocated. And of course: confetti confetti confetti.
- I'm sure we'll find other things. We got home from our honeymoon at 11 last night and cleaned up until 1:30. Now M is back to work and I'm cleaning and vacuuming.
Good thing about all this is that I was already planning to clean out all the cabinets and armoires. Now I can't put that off anymore and in a few days we'll have a very clean house....
We had received a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle (without example) with a secret message on the back as a "first step" to our wedding present of M's brother, sister and significant others. The secret message had to be texted to an unknown phone number. We then received a text saying the mail man would deliver the second step soon. This morning we received a 4 page schedule with how to find the clue to our where our present is:
find book so and so. Write down the 5th letter of the 4th word on the 19th line of page 235.....And so forth, 4 pages long! We won't be bored tonight.....Well, I'm going to fix some lunch and then get back to the confetti parade...
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
It sounded nice and he didn't even look up. I have a musical cat! It's rubbing off!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
My Dennis has been a source of worry for me again. He decided to take a little vacation and not show himself around or in the house for an entire week. M and I had already discussed the fact that he was probably dead or lost, when he walked in the back door, attacked the cat food and begged for attention.
It made me wonder. What did he see? Where did he go? How many mice did he kill and eat? And did he secretly come by the house without telling us?
It's amazing how independent cats are, yet how cuddly he is now. He won't go away from us and lies down close to where we are all the time. I believe he thinks he is the King who deserves all attention now, because if we ignore him for over an hour he draws attention to himself by either crying out or using his nails.
What can I say.. I am but his humble servant...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I have to complete 1 more assignment with the school choir (next week) and then I'll get my diploma on the 29th. I'm so proud!! Despite the mononucleosis and working part-time, I managed to graduate from this full-time college within the regular 4 years. I'm so proud!!!!!
Friday, June 15, 2007
Now this is beautiful music. It's written for the "Pandadroom", an attraction at the awesome Dutch theme park "De Efteling".
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Today has been a lovely lazy Sunday. We slept in, had a slow breakfast and then decided we would do nothing today. Well, hardly anything, anyway. So we spent the afternoon sitting outside on our terrace, enjoying the lovely view of a freshly mown field. The cats had fun chasing after mice and birds and we read our books. It was almost weird to just sit and be lazy, it's been so long since I've done that! A while ago that was all I could do, but then I couldn't enjoy it. Now I had the choice so I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Yesterday I worked in the garden, pulling weeds and watering. The beans are little plants, the shallots as you can see have started growing greyish green leaves and last night we had the first two strawberries! I just took a picture of one of the plants and noticed a few other red ones.
Oh, how I love the summer! Three more weeks of school and then I'll be off for about two months. But today was a nice little foreshadow, I can feel my batteries recharging...
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
This is a little video of me, singing Van Jonge Leu en Oale Groond (what do you think, Janneke?). It's the leader theme to a popular tv series here in the Netherlands.
I'm pretty proud of my exam. I passed, my grade was 6.5 out of 10. That doesn't seem very high (5.5 is passing) but that's ok. I agreed with the comments the jury made. After I "messed up" (ie played some wrong notes) I got a little tense and found it hard to relax and let the music flow. And that could be heard. But the jury also said that they could hear I had made a lot of progress in four years. When I started the conservatory I was terrified to play in front of musical people, and the slightest wrong note could make me panic (not exaggerated!). Now, I started a piano piece but noticed it was a little too dark. So I stopped and asked the light technician to give me some more light, and then started over. And that went well!
Considering the fact that three months ago I still slept about sixteen hours a day, I'm pretty darn proud of myself. And I'm so glad this is over!! Now all I have to worry about (college wise) is my thesis and 2 small assignments and then June 29 will be my graduation date!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Even though I've had sleepless nights and worries, today was a stress free day. M and I worked in the garden. I planted tomatoes, peppers and zinnias that I had sown eight weeks ago. I sowed radishes, lettuce, carrots, beets, leeks and planted potatoes. I've noticed before that working in the garden soothes me. I think I'll be ok. It's only an exam, it's not the end of the world...
(And those of you that have been following me closely know that it's a big step for me to say this!)
Saturday, May 12, 2007
|You Are Mint Green|
Balanced and calm, you have mastered the philosophy of living well.
Your friends seek you out for support, and you are able to bring stability to chaotic situations.
You're very open and cheerful - and you feel like you have a lot of freedom in life.
Your future may hold any number of exciting things, and you're ready for all of them!
- I'm counting down to my practical exam. Monday 21 May at 19:00 (OK, 7 PM) my final musical exam will take place. I'm horribly nervous and practicing every day. The day after tomorrow I have my last regular rehearsal and Wednesday will be the dress rehearsal. Thank goodness we'll have 2 days off because of Ascension Day, so I'll have some time to relax (or totally stress out) before the big day.
- June 1st is the due date of my thesis. I only have 20 pages so far (need about 3 times that amount) and I'm not satisfied at all so far, so there's loads of work to be done. But when? Oh, that's right, I had a long weekend to relax. I guess I'll have to use that. And the nine days after my practical exam as well.
- I mailed out our wedding invitations today. That was 110 envelopes that had to be addressed, as well as 110 cards that had to be folded. Why did we choose such a complicated invitation? Because it was pretty. We have the second meeting with the minister on Tuesday.
- I took 2 days off school this week because of the stress level in my mind and body. I could tell I was getting unusually tired again and anything could make me cry. That's why I went to my assistant principal and told him how I felt. When he asked me how he could help, I told him 2 days of sleep would do me good. So he gave me 2 days off! Too nice for words. I did sleep, but I also worked for my exam. It was some good catch-up time.
Well, so much for playing catch-up with you. Lots of other interesting things happened, but I don't feel like typing too much. It's time for a glass of white wine and some chips (I know that's not a sophisticated combination but it does taste good). If I don't write a lot the coming weeks, the above post must have explained why.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
This week I had to go to my college town 4 nights. Monday and Tuesday three of my friends had their final music exams, Wednesday I started rehearsals for my own exam (which is scheduled for 21 May) and last night I went to a friend's house for dinner and help on some exam arrangements. Of course I played the piano (almost) every day to prepare for my exam, and did voice exercises.
On top of that, we also met with the priest, set up an appointment to meet with the minister, picked out and ordered our wedding invitations, picked out rings and flowers and did some other random wedding prep work.
Just so we wouldn't get bored, we also gathered paper work for the mortgage company (unbelievable how much stuff you need to sign and copy). Oh and of course I had my last practical day for my thesis, and did a bunch of reading and writing.
I think I remember teaching school too, and doing housework.
I remind myself that in a month from now, my practical exam and most other stressful things will be over. After that it's just preparing for the wedding and enjoying the summer. But so many things have to be done before that... Please think of me and forgive me if I don't write as often as I usally do!
And yes, I still schedule nap times and lay-out-in-sun times and try to enjoy them without thinking too much of the things I have yet to do.
I wish I was one of my chickens, then all I had to do was eat, sleep, drink and make an occasional egg...
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
This afternoon I was studying in my back yard (I had to enjoy this sunny 19 degree (70F) day) when I heard the girl next door cry. She's 9 and considers herself a big girl, so when she cries something is wrong. I heard her talk to an adult voice and say: "but Mommy said she'd be home, and I have the key but she bolted the door and now I can't get in!". The adult said: "Why don't you use my cell phone to call your mother and ask her what time she'll be home". I decided to walk over and see if my assistance was required. She was on the phone and said: "Mommy, Nicolien is home, I'll go over to her house and wait for you" which of course was ok. So I took her home, gave her some lemonade and a cookie and listened to her story of her day. And by the time she was cheered up her mom was home.
Today I took a walk after dinner. The weather was still awesome (I didn't even need a jacket!) and the days are getting longer and longer, so I decided to get some exercise. I walked on the dykes by the river and enjoyed the view. I heard lots and lots of birds sing. I noticed that tulips are popping up in many gardens, and some are already in bloom. The narcissi are everywhere (there's hardly a garden without them) and everything seems to be sprouting and budding.
I had such a good time during my walk! People walked their dogs, their children or - in my case - themselves. And almost everyone I encountered greeted me. Some didn't, but that was ok too. When I got home I decided that I love living in this town. And I love the fact that it's spring again.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
This is one of the snacks I'll be serving.
M's birthday egg salad
You will need:
- 5 hard boiled eggs
- a minced onion
- pepper, salt, curry powder
- a little ketchup (about a teaspoon)
- a tablespoon of yogurt
- a tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis)
Boy, this recipe is easy this time. Cut eggs up and throw together with the onion. Add everything else to taste. Easy and great!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Even though I sometimes consider myself a pretty experienced teacher (is that ok after 3 1/2 years?) something happened a few weeks ago that I had never seen before, and won't easily forget.
In one of my wonderful second year groups, one of the girls announced that she is no longer a girl, but wants to be a boy. She had had thoughts about becoming a boy ever since she was seven years old (she now is 14) and had made the decision to change her name and appearance.
I had already heard some gossip about this, but decided not to pay too much attention to it. After all, if it was true, her mentor would inform me. And so she did. Two weeks ago we were informed that Anna (name changed of course) was to change her name to William. The teachers were asked to call her that and pay attention to her (or his?) wish to be approached as a boy. So no more "Hurry up young lady, get your book and start to work!" but rather: "Hurry up, get your book and start to work!".
Even though this situation seems weird, I'm already used to it. The kids in her class are handling this wonderfully and this has really calmed her down. Her behavior had been going through the roof lately, right before she made her announcement. Thank goodness she's in a wonderful class (I know I already said this but I love them). Any other second year group would have picked on her horribly. Not this group. They say things like: "Hey Billy, come on!", "Look Miss M, this is my brother" (for some reason 13 year olds like refer to each other as siblings when they get along well).
Isn't this an interesting situation?
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
- the weather was awesome;
- I went from teaching 9 hours a week to teaching 12 hours (almost back at my regular 15);
- we spent the week-end to my grandpa's who lives by the North Sea, because he turned 94;
- I graded lots of papers;
- I took some more walks by the river and took some more pictures of the high water level;
- I worked in the garden for the first time this year (and how lovely it was to be outside again);
- I did lots of laundry (which was all dried outside, oh how I love the smell of air-dried clothes);
- I actually cleaned my house (hadn't been done in too long).
I'm sure you will now understand why I haven't been online much! I've been doing so many things, while trying to keep in mind that I'm still sick and need to rest. So I've also carefully scheduled nap times and reading times, which works well for me.
Spring is in the air and I love it!
Monday, March 05, 2007
When they walked into my room Friday, it was like they had never left, even though the last time I taught them was in June. I gave them some info on the 2nd year curriculum, and then a boy asked: "can we sing now?". So we did some warm-ups and I taught them a song. That was all I had prepared for the day, but the period was only half over when we were done! I was able to squeeze in some glockenspiel playing too, combining what I usually do in 2 lessons, into one. That was a wonderful way to end the week and start the week-end, believe me!
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
- I skied 179 km in 8 days. That's 111 miles for all you Americans.
- I covered a total of 29369 m of height difference. That would be 32118 yards.
- I lost my clip-on sunglasses twice while getting in a chairlift, but got them back both times.
- I gained 2 kg, or 4.4 lbs. But muscle is heavier than fat, right?
Friday, February 16, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I went back to teaching Dutch to a group of eigth graders of the lowest level (vmbo). It definitely costs a lot of energy, because it's a really noisy group. But they're nice kids and we'll get used to each other quickly I'm sure.Next week we have our spring break and M and I are going skiing in the Italian Dolomites (Southern part of the Alps), together with lots of family members. We're really looking forward to that! I'm sure that some outdoor exercise, combined with amazing Italian food will do me good. I hope to look better than I did last year. But if it snows like it did last year, I'll look just like this again! :)
All in all, I'm back to a busy life. Although I must say that the study discipline I used to have, isn't really back yet. Take now, for instance. I went to the computer to start typing on my thesis (I already have 2 pages) and now I'm blogging again...
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I checked out my favorite supermarket's web site. It's in Dutch, sorry. Part of their site is a recipe search. You can search all the recipes that they have posted in their monthly magazine over the past ten years or so, but you can also make your own personal recipe book, and browse through other people's recipe books. In Suzanne Heijligers' personal recipe book I found this recipe for Foo Yong Hai. I tried it and it was very close to my friend Sheila's recipe. I'll keep searching though, because I'm not satisfied yet. I know I used the wrong ingredients (I didn't have the vegetables Sheila usually uses so I substituted them) so I'll have to try again. This is getting exciting! I've never really tried to exactly copy a dish I've eaten somewhere else before. Usually I just ask for recipes or make something that kind of seems like it but isn't exactly.
Anyway, here's what I fixed today. We had strawberry cobbler for desert, and that tasted good too!
Suzanne Heijliger's Foo Yong Hai
- 4 eggs
- about 100 gr. of chopped leek, carrot, onion
- 250 ml (a little over a cup) tomato ketchup
- little bit of vinegar
- tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce (ketjap manis)
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed
Whip eggs, mix with chopped vegetables. Add pepper and salt to taste. Melt a little butter (I used vegetable oil) in a frying pan, and spoon in 1/4th of the egg/veggie mix. Keep warm in oven dish (I put a little tea light under it) and bake the other omelettes.Meanwhile, heat ketchup in pan. Add vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and garlic. Stir well, but make sure it doesn't boil. Pour the sauce over the omelettes. Serve with rice.
I used deep fried Asian stir fry vegetable mix, and I had chicken out of the freezer so I put that in as well. Next time I'm going to leave the vinegar out because we thought the sauce was a little too sour.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Today I had a household day. I ironed and cleaned like as if my life depended on it, while watching my new box set of Sissi dvd's. LOVE those movies! Then I went to the market to buy some fresh tulips and narcissus so now everything is clean and looks really good. I'm going back to work tomorrow, I'll be teaching Dutch to one class. I'm anxious to see how it will go, but I am looking forward to it. I can't wait to be myself again!
Friday, February 02, 2007
I also started to study again. I received an e-mail from a professor that a make-up presentation moment was scheduled for Monday, and if I wanted to do my literature presentation that I could still make the credit. Of course I want that! It's a nice way to pick up studying again. I set my kitchen timer for 45 minutes and make myself concentrate on my book. Then I allow myself to do something else before returning to the book again. It's not easy, but I can do it.
I'm slowly climbing out of the pit that is mononucleosis... Yay!
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Where do we have our wedding, and what choices do we make? Do we have a reception? What kind of dinner would we like? How many people will we invite? And who do we not invite?.
And then the house... What kind of mortgage do we want? How much money do we want to invest in the remodeling? How much money do we want to spend on our house every month? Which bank do we choose, and for how long do we want to set the interest?
I have trouble making choices. Sometimes I find it hard to decide which pair of socks to wear today. And now there's all this.. Thank goodness I have my M to share this with. I know I want to marry him and I know we want to buy the house. So even though it requires a lot of thinking and a lot of time, we'll figure everything else out!
And, totally off topic, here's a little music:
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
So here it is. "Just the way you look tonight", by Frank Sinatra. It's such a moving song, it always makes me a little teary-eyed. I love the lyrics, the arrangement and the way Mr.Sinatra sings it. So here it is...
Monday, January 22, 2007
When I lived with my first American host family Schwan's chicken casserole soon became one of my dishes. And when I moved to Those Crazy Jarboes, TheeGeneral's chicken pot pie soon took its place.
Since I've been back in the Netherlands, I've had these occasional cravings for this wonderful dish. But unsweetened pie crusts are not available here, unfortunately. So about 6 months ago I started to browse the internet for chicken pot pie recipes. And, using some of my own Dutch common sense, I came up with a good alternative for a pie crust: ready made deep frozen puff pastry dough (bladerdeeg). It tastes really good.
Want the recipe for the casserole? Here it is!
- 500 gr. chicken breast
- about 2 cups of frozen peas
- 2 big carrots, sliced
- an onion, cut up
- 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 herb bouillon tablets (but you can also use l. chicken bouillon)
- some dried sage (about 2 tablespoons)
- 50 gr. flour
- 50 gr. margarine
- dried garlic, salt and pepper and of course
- 4 slices of frozen pastry dough, taken out of the freezer
When the 30 minutes are over, strain the chicken soup but make sure you keep the bouillon. So don't pour it down the sink!
Bake in a 200 C (about 400 F) oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy!
PS: No, don't worry, I haven't eaten my chickens. But since this is a chicken recipe, I thought they'd make a good illustration..
Thursday, January 18, 2007
- I went to the market Tuesday to buy myself some flowers. I figured, if I have to spend so much time in my house, I might as well make it look really pretty! I was tired of all the green plants in my house, nothing was in bloom except for some crocuses a friend had brought me over Christmas break. And I'm Dutch, so of course I bought some tulips!
- My amaryllis is in bloom, and it's so pretty! I love to look at it.
- On Wednesday I went to the garden center to buy some other plants, among which this orchid. It's small, but so pretty! The picture is a little blurry but I love it.
- Last night I took the tv-IQ-test, and according to it my IQ is 128. I like that figure, it makes me feel smart :P.
- And because I had nothing else to do today and was out of cookies, I decided to bake cookies. So now the kitchen and living room smell really good and we have something fresh to nibble on tonight.
- Last but not least: after taking a few days vacation, both the chickens laid an egg today.
It's so much better to be able to list good things than to complain. But sometimes it's good to complain too (relieving anyway). I hope you're having a good week too!
Monday, January 15, 2007
That's why I decided that I am going to try and postpone it. Today was a bad day, all I could do was lie on the couch, basically. I did a few loads of laundry but didn't even feel like putting the clean clothes away. But I did make that decision (which was also a lot of work!).That's why I called my counselor and told him about my worries and how I felt like postponing. He totally understood and said he expected the committee to agree, because this was on medical grounds (and not lazy grounds, which tends to happen sometimes). But when I hung up the phone I was not a happy camper. I called my dad and cried, and then I called my best friend and cried. She immediately came over (even though she lives half an hour away). I was happy to have her company. M was away (Monday is his fireman-night) and I felt lonely. All I do is sit in this house, by myself, not being able to be my usual self. She told me all the sweet things I wanted to hear, and said I was totally entitled to complain. And that helped, so now I'm going to bed (once again)...
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Today mom, mom-in-law and sister-in-law went to the store with me and helped me confirm my initial decision. They all loved it too.I bought my wedding gown! It makes me feel so pretty.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
- I'm a counter. I count how many people were at someone's birthday party, or how many buttons are on my new jacket. I weigh things when I cook, so I always know that everybody shares equally. I count the pages in the book that I'm reading, so I can keep track of how long it will take me (or has taken me) to read a certain amount of pages. I count the number of plants I plant in my garden, so I have equal rows. And so on...
- I skipped a grade in elementary school. Apparently I learned how to read and do math really quickly. And because the 1st and 2nd grade (group 3 and 4) were taught by the same teacher, it was really easy to move up a grade. I took advantage of my extra year by going to the United States as an exchange student when I was 17. But most of you already knew that.
- I can't stand repetitive noises and sounds. Don't click a ballpoint any more than necessary when I'm around. And please don't tap your nails on the table continuously while you talk. Don't chew your gum with your mouth open so I can hear the sound. And turn off that kitchen timer! All these things drive me crazy, I can't stand them, especially when I'm tired.
- I get really attached to things. I have a hard time throwing out clothes or shoes (even when they're ripped or stained) because they all have a story. Remember this and that that happened while I wore those sandals? Remember the lovely aunt that gave me this otherwise really ugly teddy bear? It used to drive my mother crazy... I still have loads of keepsakes in a box in her attic.
M really had to get used to my thing-attachment, but we found a way. The other day my alarm clock that I had had since I was 11 broke. I had already bought a new one, but the old one was still on my night stand, or so I thought. It wasn't though, because M had thrown it out. He knew that that would be hard for me. And now I could blame him... :)
- I didn't get my first "real" kiss until I was a month away from my 18th birthday. I always wanted to save that for someone I was really in love with, and not some sweaty fellow eight grader that just thought it was time..
But my first real kiss was like a Hollywood movie. You know what, I won't tell you about it yet. I'll write about it later...
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
But then the neighbour and his hunting dog came walking through our yard, on the way to his business which is on the other side of our house. The dog discovered the free roaming chickens and dove right in. I heard a lot of noise and saw the chickens fly away. We could easily catch Kerrie but Miss Tok was nowhere to be found. I was all worried, but at the end of the afternoon she was found by M's father and put back in the shed.
While she was away, I had found an internet ad for chickens for €2, only 10 km away from here. So I called the guy and M and I picked up 2 new additions to the hen house last night.
So now we have four young ladies in the hen house. From left to right: Ellen, Kerrie, Miss Tok. And the little girl on the left's name is Kuifje.